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25 Things Geeks Can Do To Go Green (Part 3)

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11. If You Have To Fax, Use Your PC To Fax: Faxing may be an antiquated technology, but for many offices there's still a fax machine in the corner that gets daily use. In too many offices sheets of paper get spit out of printers only to get fed into a fax machine. In addition to sending out faxes, incoming faxes consumes thousands of sheets of paper every day. Sending and receiving faxes on the PC is a more environmentally friendly alternative that has been around years. While it's been years since PC's in offices have had fax modems installed, fax modems are still available a PC with fax capability can take the place of a dedicated fax machine. Many of the higher end mulitfunction printers that have faxing capability built in can send faxes direct from most desktop applications without having to printing the documents first. Many larger offices have dedicated network fax machines which many users can send their documents over the network to be faxed. Network faxing has yet to come down to the small office level most multi-function printers with faxing ability also have network capability ether through Windows printer sharing or through their own network interfaces. With average office use a network aware multi-function machine with faxing capability could pay for itself with the cost of the paper that is saved that would normally be used for outgoing and incoming faxes.

12. Replace Recordable Disks With Rewriteable Disks: For most music and data backups most people reach for a CD-R disc or a DVD-R disc. These single use discs popular because they are cheap and convenient. The vast majority of these discs once they are burned they are only used for a short time, Most music discs are replaced with another disc with music within a couple of weeks or a couple of months, with most data backups are replaced when the next backup disc is burned. Using rewriteable CD and DVD's reduces the number of discs that have to be purchased and later disposed of. When music burned onto a disc or the data back is obsolete, a rewriteable disc can be erased and burned again. Years ago many complained that music CD's burned onto CD-RW discs weren't compatible with audio CD players, those days are long since passed. Most if not all audio CD players made today are made to be compatible with CD-RW discs. Rewriteable disc technology has improved the compatibility of CD-RW discs with older CD players.

13. APM is your friend: Advanced power management is the ability of PC's to reduce electrical consumption by powering down monitors and hard drives after a certain period of inactivity. PC's can be put into hibernation mode after a further period of inactivity. Many PC users often disable power management because they find their monitor shutting off annoying. Many geeks remember the days of Windows 95 when PC's that had problems with crashing coming out of power management. Power management improved a long time ago, and can wake up out of hibernation mode without crashing.

14. Dump The Dual Monitors: Dual monitor setups once popular with PC gamers and those who edit a lot of video have given way to having a single widescreen monitor. Not only is it less distracting looking at only one monitor rather than two but it is also more energy efficient. Replacing two large CRT monitors with a single widescreen LCD monitor will bring power consumption down from 300 – 450 watts down to under 100 watts.

15. Replace a Desktop PC with a Netbox PC: Asus the company that created the Netbook class of computers that created a whole new segment of the PC industry have created the ebox, a down scaled version of the desktop PC. Netbox PC's are ideal to replace a home office desktop PC that are primarily used for e-mailing, web surfing and word processing, or a Kid's homework computer that also gets used for online chatting and social networking. Netbox PC's consume a fraction of the power that a full sized desktop PC uses. Many households now have four or more PC's, moving to netbox PC's will not just help decrease a households' carbon footprint, but will help decrease the size of the monthly power bill as well.

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