Comsats Institute Of Information Technology
Green computing also known as Green IT, is the environmentally responsible and eco-friendly use of computers and their resources. In broader terms, it is also defined as the study of designing, engineering, using, disposing or recycling of computing devices in a way that reduces their environmental impact. The computers that we use so for almost everything in our daily routine are made with harmful materials, such as lead, chromium, mercury and cadmium which pollute the environment. If these metals through any means make their way into the environment, by land, water or air, they can cause serious harm to human health. Besides that, up to now there is no solution the millions of computers that end up in landfill sites around the globe. Since we’re greatly dependent on computer today thus more energy is required to run which leads to more energy production thus increasing carbon-footprint. To tackle this threat Green Computing comes in.
The efficient use of resources in Computing is must. Adoption of policy ensuring that setup and operations of Information Technology produces minimal to no carbon footprint in short is Green or Eco-Friendly Computing. Green Computing ensures, the least use of Hazardous materials while at the same time maintaining the efficiency of computing product so that its working isn’t hampered. It can be concluded that green computing essentially is a means to achieve environmentally sustainable computing, which can be done without affecting or only minimally affecting the environment, in terms of designing, making, using and disposing of computers and similar devices or systems.
Importance of green computing
Our environment is not a renewable resource thus its preservation is must and this high time for it, as industrialization is rapidly growing and so is use of computing devices with it leading to environmental damage. Therefore, this computing is an important consideration for keeping our environment clean and safe. It ensures minimum energy consumption and maximum components are recycled so environment remains safe. The problem is that electronic waste is increasing rapidly within this decade and adverse effects are gradually shown toward this environment, especially for humans and other living creatures in general. Due to the quick bottleneck of electronics, this resulted in a terrible 70% of all hazardous wastes. Many toxic substances, such as heavy waste and flame-resistant plastics, have excessive computer waste, which easily sprouts in groundwater and bio-accumulation.
Additionally manufacture of computer components especially chips require large amount of resources and many hazardous gases end up in our air which is deadly for humans. The desktops, computer or laptops we buy, for an instance we don’t think what happens to them when they’re dead but they both end up in landfill or developing countries and assimilate in soil thus making is polluted. This affects soil fertility and hence crops also are contaminated. [image: ]Moreover, E-Waste trade chain is created in developing nations for the imported obsolete electronics. Mafias buy these waste products and hire laborers at low wages which is serious human exploitation. Besides ethical factor, environment is also harmed when they irresponsibly try to re-use these products buy either burning them or melting them and even after that a great chunk of this E-waste ends in rivers and gases formed in atmosphere.
Generally Green Computing works at all levels; from design and development to disposal and recycle.
The first and foremost step is designing such computing systems which are eco-friendly. This step includes designing such chips and systems which consume least possible amount of energy thus reducing need for producing more electricity which cause fossil fuels to burn and pollute environment. It also includes such materials to be used which and be re-used maximum number of times and if disposed will cause minimal to no harm to environment.
The second step is computing systems production or manufacturing. It should be IMPLEMENTATION.
When it comes to green computing, implementing it is getting easier day by day, largely due to the several software and hardware solutions that allow one to adopt green standards. They also apply to all classes of systems, whether it is a small handheld scanner to large data centers that host thousands of servers. The most notable contribution of the Energy Star program was “sleep mode” for computers, where the system simply goes into hibernation when it isn’t in use, thereby saving energy. Since then, it has come a long way. Software optimization and deployment can be a good means for implementing green computing. This can be achieved via efficiency in algorithms, proper allocation of resources, and virtualization. Current methods of saving energy include:Algorithmic efficiency directly affects the amount of resources required for running computer functions. In this regard, changes such as moving from linear-based search to hashing or indexing can result in faster processes, thereby reducing the usage of resources. Closely linked to this is the aspect of resource allocation. If proper allocation of resources can be made in computing, one can reap the benefits, as it means their efficient utilization. This can also lead to a cut in costs for businesses.
Virtualization is another very important method that helps in implementing green computing. Here, two or more logical computer systems can be run on the same piece of hardware. Thus, one can cut down the number of computer systems required by simply having one powerful system. Virtualization also helps in terms of energy efficiency, as one system will certainly consume less power than many. Power management can very effectively allow for implementation of green computing principles, as it helps in improving energy efficiency. With proper power management, it is possible to reduce power consumption, which further leads to a reduction in carbon emissions. Several key operating systems, such as Windows and macOS versions have power management features that allow for standby modes and turning off the monitor, without actually having to shut down the system in its entirety.
These can be used when needed and it helps save energy. Further, there is third-party software, such as 1E Night Watchman and Faronics Power Save that can help by offering power management features that are not offered by Windows or mac OS. In terms of hardware usage too, green computing can be implemented. For example, one can make use of hard disk drives of the small form factor, i. e. 2. 5 inch, as they consume less power. Another major way is to replace them with solid-state drives that contain no moving parts. This will also lead to reduced power consumption. CRT monitors are also known to consume more power when compared to the newer LED or LCD monitors. So, replacing any antiquated monitors you still have around the office can be another means to implement green computing. Cloud computing is effectively one of the major ways to achieve sustainability in terms of computing. It reduces energy usage and resource consumption. Many companies can, and have been, moving their applications to the cloud, thereby cutting down on use of computing and energy resources and carbon emissions. (For more on this, see Cloud Computing and Carbon Footprints: Why Cloud Solutions Are Green Solutions. )These are just some of the more easy-to-adopt means to achieve green computing, and there are many more as well.
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