What is green computing and can you balance performance and sustainability?



With all the buzzwords thrown around, such as ‘going green’ and ‘carbon footprint’, it’s no wonder that sustainability has become a major global issue.

The IT world is not left out in this sustainable development approach. Efforts are being made to make IT more environmentally friendly, hence the term “green IT”.

This article will explore what green computing is, its impact on design, and whether you can balance performance with sustainability.

What is green computing?

Green computing is a term that has been around for a while, but what does it mean?

Simply put, green computing is a way to design, produce, and use computers that minimize the impact on our environment.

It can also be defined as any form of energy efficient computing that includes the use of less energy, the use of renewable sources for electricity and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

For example, green computing discourages unnecessary practices such as continuously running a device when it is only used intermittently.

What techniques are involved in green computing?


Several techniques make IT green. These include eco-friendly manufacturing, eco-friendly design, eco-friendly use and eco-friendly disposal. Now let’s see these techniques in detail.

Green manufacturing

Green manufacturing is the process of being green from the start. This involves using green materials and minimizing energy consumption during production.

In order for a green system to be manufactured, it must have components that do not use harmful chemicals, such as halogenated flame retardants. It should also have components that meet strict energy efficiency standards certified by an environmental organization, such as Energy Star, and green building standards, such as LEED.

Green design

Designing green systems involves making green decisions during the design process to improve the green attributes of a system. These green decisions should take into account energy efficiency, environmentally friendly materials, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and reduced energy consumption.

Related: How Much Energy Is Your PC Using? (And ways to reduce it)

Some green decisions involve evaluating a computer’s life cycle during design. For example, green computing will focus on designing systems that have a longer useful life so that they don’t get replaced as often. It also aims to consider how a system is used in its design.

A green computer should also be recyclable and use less energy for transportation. Create a sustainable product cycle that begins from the point of manufacture until its components can be recycled into a new computer.

Green use

The “green use” technique involves using computers in the most energy efficient way possible. For example, users shouldn’t have to face excessive expectations when turning on a computer. The speed of the computer should also match the user’s needs so that it does not waste battery.

Ensuring green use also involves the appropriate and efficient use of green systems. For example, Green Computing recommends shutting down a computer when not in use to reduce wasted energy.

Other simple practices that include turning off your computer screen or even adjusting its power settings to use less power while still running are also green computing techniques.

Green disposal

The elimination of green computing speaks of recycling computers in a responsible and environmentally friendly way. It also means ensuring that computers can be recycled into new computers or other products.

How do green IT requirements impact design?

Best laptop for designers

Green computing impacts design in several ways. For example, green computing requires meeting power needs through power management features like sleep modes and green technology like low-voltage processors, which require less electricity to run.

Another way green computing has an impact on design is that green devices are recycled or reused instead of being thrown in the trash, which provides green technology for other green devices.

A third way in which green computing impacts design is green manufacturing, which involves efficient use of resources based on environmental impact. This means that manufacturing processes must be designed to maximize the reuse and recycling of materials or must minimize harmful effects during production or assembly.

Balancing green IT and performance

While green computing aims to reduce energy and greenhouse gas emissions, it can sometimes be at odds with performance.

For example, green computing machines can implement power settings that result in slower system performance than a user expects. It also means that green computers can be designed with components that are not as powerful as other consumer electronics.

However, green computing is not at odds with performance because the goal of green computing is for computers to be used in the most efficient way possible, not for computers to be intentionally slowed down just to be sustainable. .

The percentage of energy spent on real computing versus energy spent on powering computers underscores this. For example, an article published in the International Journal of Engineering Research & Technology (IJERT) found that of the $ 250 billion spent annually to power the world’s computers, “only about 15% of that power is spent on IT – the the rest is wasted idling. ”

Related: Leaving Your Computer On All The Time: The Pros And Cons

The main goal of green computing is to reduce the energy consumption and environmental impact of computers. Performance suffers sometimes, but green IT isn’t at odds with performance; green computers can still perform very well if they are designed efficiently.

Green computing is more about designing high-quality computers that meet user needs than designing low-performance computers.

Compromises, even small?

Hand holding a green plant in front of a pale wall.

Yes. There are tradeoffs with green computing. The main tradeoff is that green computing can force users to sacrifice some performance for green use. However, this does not mean a complete loss of performance or a user’s ability to access high performance features.

The difference in performance will probably be negligible for most users. If you didn’t notice any difference when switching from optimal mode to battery saver mode on your PC, chances are that the performance drop is negligible for you.

Green IT preserves the environment

Green computing requires green technology to reduce energy waste, green disposal practices to protect the environment, green manufacturing, efficient use of resources, and efficient energy management to save electricity . This is not at odds with performance, but it may force users to sacrifice negligible performance for green features.

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