SciTech

Green Practices Promotes Monitor Sleep

Carnegie Mellon?s Green Practices is in the midst of a campaign to save energy through better computer and monitor management. This ?Sleep is Good? campaign has been running throughout the course of the year, and will continue until 1000 monitors on campus have enabled their energy saving modes.
The Green Practices Committee had been looking for different initiatives to save energy that would allow individuals to contribute. Green Practices? goal in this campaign is to educate the campus community about saving the energy lost when computers are left idle.
According to Green Practices, there are approximately 20,000 monitors on campus, and turning off monitors when they are not in use would save almost $5 per person per year, which amounts to nearly $100,000 per year for the University. To provide students with an incentive to participate in the campaign, Green Practices is offering a coupon for a free smoothie to students who fill out a survey and set up energy saver mode on their computers through the Sleep is Good website.
?Sleep is Good is an important campaign for many reasons,? said Catherine Piccoli, a sophomore history major and intern at Green Practices. ?Students should care about this campaign because it saves energy and benefits the environment [by lessening carbon dioxide emissions]. Saving energy now will make for a better quality of life when we are older.?
This campaign is a part of the larger national program endorsed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) called the Million Monitor Drive. It was started last year by Energy Star, a government-backed program that helps businesses and individuals protect the environment. The drive addressed monitor power management on one million monitors nationwide last year, and is looking to address the same on two million monitors nationwide this year. It is projected to save 430 million kWh per year, enough to power over 340,000 households in one month. Green Practices says that the sleep mode on an average desktop computer reduces the energy it uses by 72%. Also, carbon dioxide reductions for 2 million monitors equals 52,000 cars? emissions.
Jack Colbourn, chief of grants at the EPA, said, ?To make the transition to power management easy, Energy Star developed EZ Save software that allows organizations to enable hundreds, or even thousands, of computer monitors at once from a central location.? The Harvard University Kennedy School of Government (KSG) took advantage of this software, enabled 800 computer monitors to power down into sleep mode when not in use, and ended up saving approximately $14,000 a year on its energy bills. According to Steward Uretsky, associate dean and chief financial officer at KSG, the software enabling process was carried out in less than a few hours. Harvard University participated in the Million Monitor Drive last year, and has pledged its support this year.
Green Practices is looking to do multiple future projects in conservation. Barbara Kviz, co-chair of the Green Practices Committee and environmental coordinator at Carnegie Mellon, said, ?This is the first in our conservation efforts ? we will be coming up with other initiatives to save water and energy.?
?I like the fact that CMU is green. If we are given the chance to conserve and better the environment, it only makes sense that we take that opportunity. Besides, we can all sacrifice a little,? said Bryan Senti, a junior in music composition.
For more information about the Sleep is Good initiative and to learn how to enable the energy saver mode on your computer, go to www.cmu.edu/greenpractices/sleepisgood.