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Sleep, Computer, Sleep.

Consider the following: A standard-issue PC and monitor left on all the time (a not-uncommon situation) consume 1,109 kilowatt-hours a year, according to estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency. By comparison, refrigerators that meet federal energy-use regulations use, on average, about 514 kilowatt-hours a year. Surely there are things a user can do to reduce a computer's carbon footprint.

•Putting your computer to sleep when it's not in use is a no-brainer because the payoffs include:

•Cutting the electricity used by your PCs roughly in half, saving $25-75 per PC annually.

•Enhancing data security by reducing the chance that valuable personal information is displayed on an unattended PC.

•Saving time by eliminating the daily wait for computers to boot up.

•Helping the environment. Saving energy reduces air pollution associated with the burning of fossil fuels, and ultimately lowers the risk of global warming.

Downloadable instructions for most major operating systems are available at:

"But I have my screensaver on," you may say. Screen savers generally do not save energy. In fact, certain graphics-intensive screen savers, like the one constantly flashing pictures of my children, can cause the computer to burn twice as much energy, and may actually prevent a computer from entering sleep mode. Screen savers were originally developed to prevent the permanent etching of patterns on older, monochrome monitors. Modern screens do not suffer as much from this problem. If you want to use your screen saver in conjunction with monitor power management, set the screen saver "wait time" to less than the period of time after which the monitor enters sleep mode. If your screen saver appears but your monitor never enters sleep mode, your screen saver may be the culprit: try disabling it.

To simple, green living,

Carrie Brusven

Changing the world, one home and office at a time.

"You must be the change you hope to see in the world." -Gandhi

Carrie Brusven is an Independent Green Irene Eco-Consultant based out of Moorhead, MN and her website can be found at Carrie offers Green Home Makeovers and "Go Green" Workshops/Parties to help you on your own path to greener living. Contact Carrie to schedule a makeover for your home:

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