Student on laptop in greenhouse

Green Computing

Reuse and Recycling

As a result of lab upgrades, old equipment is no longer needed but remains functional. In an effort to keep working equipment out of the landfills and recycling centers, we've organized a donation program and have given many computers to a local non-profit organization and also have given a number of machines to Hampshire employees and students for home use. Non-functional items are recycled through the Five Colleges recycling program.

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 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 which 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.
  • DSpace - a place for students to submit their Division III work to be archived

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 powerstrip.
  • 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. A CRT monitor (the old, bulky type of monitor) uses approximately 80% of the energy in a desktop system, and an LCD monitor (flat panel) uses about half that of a CRT. 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.

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