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25 Things Geeks Can Do To Go Green (Part 4)

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16. Share one printer, recycle the rest: Despite everything that can be done to share information without printing it out, having to spit out information on printed on a piece of paper cannot be avoided completely. In multi PC homes and small offices most PC's still have printers attached to each computer. This has lead to many homes and most small businesses having to spend a small fortune on ink cartridges for all those different printers which the vast majority end up in landfills. Network printer sharing built into Windows allows one printer to be used with many PC's. This means one printer to buy paper and cartridges for. Almost all third party cartridges are recycled which already is one step towards reducing waste, but those cartridges can be turned into some stores which give a discount on a replacement cartridge, using that discount for another third party cartridge will help reduce waste even further.

17. Watch your movies on VOD or PPV rather than renting DVD's: It's hard to imagine that making a choice about renting a movie for the evening could have an impact on the environment but it could. Not about which movie you choose but how you get the movie can lessen one's carbon footprint. Using video on demand on digital cable or pay per view on satellite means not having to drive to a video store to choose a DVD which came hundreds of miles from the distributors' pressing plants is a better choice for the environment. With video on demand or pay per view the movie that you want to watch is always available, which is something even the best video stores can't provide. Even services like Netflix can't provide guaranteed availability, subscribers sometimes have to wait weeks or even months for some titles to be sent to them.

18. Play Games Only On Consoles: The home PC's that are the biggest power hogs are those designed and built for high end gaming. Many gaming PC's consume 1000 watts or more, An Xbox 360 averages 140 watts, and a Playstation 3 averages a little less than 100 watts. The Nintendo Wii is the biggest power saver, averaging just 17 watts. Most games on PC's have versions for the consoles. Now many will argue that there are games that are exclusive on PC's and that's true, but there are games that are exclusive on consoles as well. Online game play and better graphics were the biggest arguments in favor of PC's years ago, consoles have had online capability and high definition graphics for the past few years. For being more environmentally friendly consoles come out ahead now. (20)

19. Don't Use Separate Devices When you Can Avoid It: Redundant devices are just another way that power gets wasted. There is usually both a game system and a DVD player in most peoples' main entertainment centers. The original Xbox, Xbox 360, and the Playstation 2 can all play DVD's as well. While the DVD player hooked up to the flat panel TV probably upconvert to a higher resolution to produce better picture quality where the game systems do not, is there really a need for both a DVD player and a game system on the second and third TV's that the kids use to watch their movies and play their games?

20. Use Plant Life to Hide Ugly Utility Service Boxes: Most homes have service boxes in backyards on on the backs of homes put there by power companies, telephone companies and cable companies. They are not the most attractive things, a shrub or some other plant life can be very effective to hide these boxes, but before planting something right by a service box, make sure that it will remain easily accessible to utility company employees that need to get to them. The plants will not only hide the service box but will help clean the air too.

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