First of all you may ask, what is green IT? Well, Green IT or Green Information Technology is simply the practice of using IT resources in a more sustainable and environmentally responsible way.
IT equipment use up a lot of natural resources such as Copper, Lead, Rubber, Plastic, Silicon, Glass, etc. (raw materials for manufacturing). IT infrastructure and equipment also use a substantial amount of electricity to run and there is the problem of disposing IT equipment when they become non-functional or obsolete, especially in Africa’s developing nations where the capacity to recycle such materials are abjectly low.
So What? You may say.
Well, fortunately most large and small businesses are increasingly becoming technology dependant than ever before to meet up with current high demands and quick services. More and more People are working with PCs, Laptops, Tablets, Phones, Printers and Servers 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. These devices then become obsolete and need changing to keep up with higher demanding software applications and services. Massive quantities of paper and ink (tonner) are used to print documents which quickly become waste in a short period of time.
This system of IT usage is making business across the world to waste money, energy, paper and other resources that could be invested in developing new biodegradable products, saving the planets trees and reserving resources for the future generations to come.
How we can change the Status Quo
We can all play a part in saving the planet and the environment by practicing some or all of the following green IT sustainable processes.
- Minimise the use of paper: Statistics have shown that it takes a whole tree to make one rim of paper. Enlightening staff to “think before they print” and optimising word and line spacing to save that extra page that would contain only one or two lines of words. Reusing the other side of disposed paper documents is also a good start.
- Refillable printer ink/tonner: many larger/profitable organisations replace the whole printer’s ink/toner cartridge when depleted creating waste. Refilling such cartridges can reduce manufacturing of more cartridges, saving both cost and wastage.
- Reduce Power Consumption: Unplugging/shutting down of unengaged computer systems or equipment will cumulatively save a lot of electric energy.
- Using cloud based Enterprise Recourse Planning (ERP) application processes: ERP application can save tons of paper, printing and unnecessary movement of staff within an organisation. Being cloud based makes it much better because the organisations would not require a server infrastructure saving them the cost of maintenance and storage space. Last but not the least;
- Using web based conferencing for meetings: free and easy applications such as skype can be used to conduct interviews, meetings and speech. This will save time, cost, transport fuel while greatly reduce the risk of staff life.
In a nutshell, voluntary engaging in such green IT practices would help organisations/businesses save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in turn saving the environment.