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Home Pages to Save Energy – The Green Computer

Submitted by on Thursday, 15 October 20093 Comments

Green ComputerHere at the Green Computer, my favorite tips are the simple ones. Here’s a great idea for making an everyday activity just a little bit greener. Though the change might seem insignificant at first, small changes have a way of adding up over time.

One activity I engage in dozens (if not hundreds) of times a day is opening a new web browser window. Most people have their web browser set to open a particular page as their “home” page, such as a search engine, news site, weather forecast, company website, etc. Every time you open a new browser window to your home page, your computer sends a request over the internet, a server sends the site contents back to you, and your computer expends a small amount of energy to display that content on your screen. The “busier” your home page is (for example, MSN, the default Internet Explorer home page, is loaded with ads, images, and videos), the more energy you waste every time you go there.

The simplest solution is to simply choose a blank page as your home page. If you use Internet Explorer, go to the Tools menu and choose Internet Options. On the General tab under Home Page, click the Use Blank button. Then, click OK to save your changes. For Firefox users, go to Tools->Options. Under Startup, there is a drop-down menu titled “When Firefox starts;” choose the “Show a blank page” option and click OK to save your changes.

Some users, however, feel they can’t live without their home page. Even so, there are environmentally friendly options to consider. Blackle is a black version of Google, based on the idea that displaying a black website uses less energy than a white website.

Another approach is to choose a charitable or green living website as your homepage. If you frequent a “click to give” type of website (such as Free Rice or The Hunger Site), consider making it your home page so that you remember to visit every day. Or, make Green Chi Cafe your home page, so you’re always informed of the latest green living news and tips!

Whichever option you choose, the idea is the same: Make a simple task just a little bit greener, and the difference will add up over time.

By Annie B. Bond, the best-selling and award-winning author of five healthy/green living books, including Better Basics for the Home (Three Rivers Press, 1999), Home Enlightenment, Clean & Green (1990), and most recently True Food (National Geographic, 2010 and winner of Gourmand Awards Best Health and Nutrition Cookbook in the World). She has authored literally thousands of articles and was named “the foremost expert on green living” by Body & Soul magazine (2009).

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