Green Desktop: Image Courtesy of HeartofGreen.orgSo in an effort to help all of my favorite internet travel users join in on the latest Green Initiative, here are a few tips on ways to save energy when at work or at home on your computers.  I recently sat down with Keith Bukovan, Director of IT for Tampa Bay & Company,who is undoubtedly the greatest IT minds in the building to come up with this list, and when he speaks everyone should listen! 

JF:  So Obi Wan, ooops I mean Keith, how can we all do our part with regards to daily personal computer usage and going green?

KB:  Well Jerm, one way to start is when finished working for the day and before leaving, Turn your Computer and Monitor off.

JF: Interesting...what exactly does that accomplish?

KB:  Well the first reason is an obvious one. It reduces power and cooling costs.  Computers generate a great deal of heat while operating as do LCD monitors.  At night for example, the heating/cooling in the building after 7pm is turned off.  Thus, any heat generated by computers will heat our floor and not be circulated and cooled by the system.  Winter is not such a big deal, but in Summer it helps some with the morning cool down.

JF:  Wow, didn't really know that.  I tend to always put my computer to sleep, but I guess I can start doing that now.

KB:  Yeah, its a good idea.  Second, this will increase the useful life of the computer.  Hard drives have expected lives in hours.  This is called MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure).  That is the number of expected hours on average the hard drive will typically last before it fails.  Thus, having the computer turned off 12 less hours a day makes a huge difference in the longevity of the PC, related hardware and the stress/heat on the components.

JF:  Are we doing anything else to help the environment?

KB:  Yeah actually we are!  Like, as we retire older servers, we will replace those with Green servers manufacturers are now offering to reduce greenhouse emissions.

JF:  How do initiatives like this benefit the community?

KB:  Well one great is example is how we have a business relationship with a paper and toner supplier that recycles our paper and also toner cartridges.  They are also a non-profit company.  The toner cartridges are recycled and sold, the money they then donate to a local charity for children with special needs.  So not only are we working with partners that provide recycling alternatives and are “green”, but also donate to local charitable organizations to help others.

JF:  Awesome, as this is all great information, but I did have one additional question for ya.  In the morning when I get into work it generally takes my cpu a while to boot up, any way I can speed that up?

KB:  When you first arrive at work, turn your computer, give your computer a few minutes to get situated.  It loads services and applications in the background and runs a brief virus scans at startup which causes the disk activity and processor utilization to run high.  If you have ever tried to start clicking on programs right away, it doesn’t respond well right after log in due to the nature of the operating system.  Give it a minute, get a cup of coffee!

JF:  In my case that would be Orange Juice as I am not a big coffee person, but thanks for the tip anyway.  Thanks for taking the time out Keith to sit with us and drop some knowledge.

KB:  No problem, it was my pleasure!

Alright gang, there you have it from the Suntrust Buildings top IT mind.  Keep in mind that your computer or office setting may have a different setup, and Keith's answers were specific to our office setting, but these are still darn good tips to get you going green and extend your computer life!

Got a Green computer question for me or Keith?  Maybe you need to find "green"  hotels here in the Tampa Bay Area? Feel free to drop us a comment!