At human-I-T, we know that with the current shelter in place guidelines, people are at home relying on their technology to stay connected more than ever before. From participating in school work remotely to accessing telemedicine to participating in video calls with family and friends, our devices are helping us stay connected during this difficult time. In honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, here are some quick tips to help you take care of your technology and reduce your carbon footprint.
1. Turn off and unplug electronics when not in use
As simple as it is, many of us forget to turn off our electronics at the end of the day, and neglect to unplug electronics that do not need to be constantly connected, such as printers, toaster ovens, and laptop power cords. Approximately 75% of the energy used to power household electronics is consumed when they are switched off. Called a phantom load, this wasted energy can add up to an extra $200 on your energy bill per year.
2. Use a power strip
Plugging electronics into a power strip that can be easily switched off at the end of the workday is a great way to reduce that phantom load. You can opt for a smart power strip that can be set to switch off at a specified time, during a long period of inactivity, or through a remote switch.
3. Take care of your devices so they last longer
Unfortunately, a lot of technology is not designed to last a long time; most laptops last 3-5 years. But if you take care of your tech, it can last you longer! For computers and laptops, elevate the device on a cooling pad when it is a hot day, and clean the built-in fan. Run virus scans regularly, and transfer data to the cloud to free up hard drive space and prevent your device from becoming sluggish. Invest in a quality phone protection case to keep your mobile device going longer.
4. Donate tech to be refurbished and reused at the end of its life
Over 150,000 computers are thrown away in the US each day alone; while there are over 80 million Americans who lack computer and broadband access in their homes. Plus, technology is the fastest growing waste stream in the world, and 70% of all toxic waste comes from discarded technology. When you are ready for an upgrade or your technology is at the end of its life, donate your tech! You can ship in electronics to human-I-T, where we can refurbish, sanitize, and redistribute it to low income families.