Green Computing

Reuse and Recycling

In an effort to keep working equipment out of the landfills and recycling centers, we've organized a donation program that has given many used computers coming out of service to Hampshire students for personal use. When possible, we also donate equipment coming out of service to local non-profit organizations. Equipment that has partial hardware failures is kept on hand so the remaining parts can be used to repair other equipment when possible. Non-functional items are recycled through the Five Colleges recycling program.

Technology Purchasing

We strive to purchase environmentally friendly technology products whenever they meet our specification requirements, perform satisfactorily, and are available at a reasonably competitive price. College computers purchased from Apple and Dell are EPEAT registered desktops and laptops. Technology purchases are chosen and configured with the highest ENERGY STAR® rating whenever possible. 

Limiting Printing and Recycling Paper

Hampshire has a pay-for-print system for our lab printers and public copiers. This means items do not actually print until the students pay for and authorize the print job. This significantly reduces wasted paper, energy consumption, and toner replacement.

Duplex settings are the default for the public printers and copiers, as well as all faculty and staff computers, which further reduces paper consumption.

Hampshire works to provide the community with tools that allow paper-based activities to move online, including:

  • Moodle A learning management system that allows faculty and students to share and collaborate within course websites, including features such as online activities, assignment submissions, quizzes, questionnaires, and sharing course materials.
  • Community websites A space for community members to share documents and collaborate
  • TheHub Provides access to administrative functions such as online billing, timecard processing and pay stubs, budget reports, course evaluations and registration, and divisional contracts and evaluations.

Recycling bins are placed prominently in all computing labs.

Server Virtualization

IT operates approximately 109 servers. As stand-alone machines with 300w power supply, these would collectively use 785kwH of electricity per day, or 286,452 kwH per year, costing the College $33,200 annually. By virtualizing or consolidating multiple servers onto a single physical server, IT only has to operate 20 servers instead of 109. This saves the College 233,892 kwH per year, or $27,100 annually. That energy reduction eliminates 161 metric tons of CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions from the atmosphere annually. This is the equivalent annual emissions from 31 cars or 375 barrels of oil.

What You Can Do

  • Activate your computer's power management features so that it enters low energy mode (sleep or standby) when idle. See About Energy Saver sleep and idle modes in Mac OS X for Mac instructions. Windows 7 power saving tips can be found at Windows 7 Power Management.
  • Turn off your computer at night or when you leave the office for extended periods.
  • A power strip that powers your computer, printer, router, and other equipment will allow you to turn off everything with the flick of one switch. Be careful, though, not to overload your power strip.
  • Remember to unplug battery chargers and power adapters when they finish charging or are not in use.
  • Turn off monitors when they're not in use. Even if you don't plan to turn off the computer, consider turning off the monitor for a little extra savings.
  • Screen savers do not save power; they were developed as a way to avoid screen burn-in, and can actually cause a computer to use more power. Instead of using a screen saver, consider using sleep/standby settings. If security is an issue, OS X and Windows have settings that allow you to require a password on wake. On a Mac you can find this setting in System Preferences->Security, and on a Windows machine it's in Control Panel->Power Options Properties->Advanced.

Learn more about sustainability @ Hampshire