5 Things You Can Do in 5 Minutes to Reduce Your Power Use – Part 1

Welcome to TechSoup GreenTech's Unpower Yourself! campaign. We're having a contest to encourage you to reduce your computer's energy comsumption. Read this post, take two simple actions, complete a quick survey, and you'll be eligible to win!

Global warming is happening because of a buildup of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, most of them produced by power plants that burn fossil fuels to generate electricity. Information and communications technology consumes a good deal of electricity, much of which is wasted as heat, consumed by computers and monitors needlessly left on, or used to cool hardware that is not running efficiently.

More than half the electricity used by IT is outside the data center and it is very easy for you to make small changes that will have a significant positive impact on both the environment and your wallet. It's not always easy to get a significant number of individuals to take these easy actions, but we can reach more people with your help.

Here are five things you can do quickly to decrease your IT energy use:

No cost and saves you money instantly

1. Set power management on your computer.
2. Turn off your computer at night.

Some cost, but should save you money within one year

3. Order and use a smart power strip ($30 at Amazon).
4. Commit to buying EPEAT gold or silver hardware.

Enhance Your Impact

5. Spread the word - Tell 5 of your friends and colleagues how to set power management on their computers. Twitter users, you can help spread the word by retweeting our announcement.

Enter our contest: Take 2 of the 5 actions above and complete our brief survey to enter to win one of these prizes: $25 gift card, an hour of consulting time from a TechSoup staff expert, or a Smart Strip.

Did you know?

Our Call to Action: Complete just two of the five actions above and enter our contest! Take our quick survey and you will be entered to win one of several prizes. The grand prize is one hour of phone-based consulting time with a TechSoup expert and having your organization featured on our website. The contest will be open from November 2 to November 20 (contest closes at 3 p.m. Pacific time November 20).

Not interested in our contest? Fine. Only have 2 minutes left after reading this post? Please use those two minutes to complete item #1 – Set the power management features of your computer, and then join Climate Savers Computing Initiative as an individual or affiliate member. It's no cost to sign up, and it's a way to build momentum for IT energy conservation. Power management is not only good for the environment, but it can also save your organization an estimated $60/year per computer in electricity costs.