It's no secret that our increasing reliance on computers comes at a substantial energy cost (at least until we master reversible computing). There are a number of software tools that make it easy for users to save energy, and therefore money. In many cases, the easiest thing to do is power your machine down when you are done working or playing.
In one year, if you shut your machine off before bed each night, you'll save an average of $90 worth of electricity. The Department of Energy recommends shutting off your monitor if you aren't going to use it for more than 20 minutes, and the whole system if you're not going to use it for more than two hours. Time spent off also extends your computer's life.
That's the message, too, of the Climate Savers Computing Initiative, the nonprofit formed by the tech industry, including members like Google, Intel and Microsoft. The group has launched the Power Down for the Planet video contest to help get the word out.
Participants are asked to develop a brief original video (think of a commercial or PSA) that educates viewers about the importance of energy efficient computing. Prizes include $5,000 cash, Specialized bicycles, HP laptops and Microsoft software.
Think you have what it takes to make the next "Wii Fit Girl Video"?
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