According to the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, e-waste is the fastest-growing part of the waste stream, and the Environmental Protection Agency estimates e-waste accounts for 2 percent of the municipal solid waste stream in the United States. More than 1,000 chemicals are used during electronics production, such as lead, mercury, and cadmium. In addition to manufacturing materials, going green means focus on power consumption. IT departments spent 17 cents per dollar to power and cool servers in 1996. Ten years later, by September 2006, IT departments were spending 48 cents per dollar to power and cool servers, according to IDC research. IDC predicts that this cost will grow to 78 cents per dollar by 2010. The focus on green is as much about cost reduction as it is about the environment.
The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition estimates that there are 500 obsolete computers in the United States, and 130 million cell phones thrown away every year. It is no wonder that e-waste and Green IT are topping the charts as the primary initiative for technology and trends in 2008.
According to IDC, over 50% of customers consider a vendor's green initiatives and capabilities when selecting a supplier. One third of customers already consider it very important that suppliers have "green offerings". 80% of Executives say that e-waste and Green IT is growing in importance as an initiative in their organization. The number one (#1) driver for Green IT adoption is economic, to reduce operational costs.
By this practice, the adverse effects of electronics on the environment can be minimized. It promotes efficient manufacturing, use and disposal of electronic components. The following are some of the goals:
• Energy efficiency maximization
• Emphasize on recycling
• Reduction of hazardous materials
Why is electronic waste important?
One of the major problems faced in today's world is the increase in the amount of electronic wastes. Electronic wastes constitute more than 70% of all the hazardous wastes. The manufacture of certain computer parts involves the usage of large number of toxic materials, harmful chemicals, heavy metals, plastics which cannot be easily burnt. Such materials, when burnt, can easily pollute the ground water and also the environment.
Use of technology:
Green computing is the need of the hour. It promotes use of all possible measures to save energy and improving the lives of electronic components.
By using some of these techniques, energy can be efficiently used.
Coding and Algorithms: Proper coding and usage of best algorithms would reduce the load on computer servers, thus reducing energy consumption. To minimize the load on the server, coding should be done in a way so that optimum use of cache and validation functions. Algorithms which are smartly written using only few lines of code can also help in using the servers efficiently.
Thin Terminal Devices: In this approach, most of the computing is done on the servers. The devices which are used for connecting to servers are very thin, using only one-eighth of the total power used in normal desktops.
Power Management: It involves setting the pre-set time in computers and their components like the hard disks, RAM's etc. After the pre-determined time, the computer is turned off when not in use.
With the increasing popularity of various electronic devices like mobile phones, mini laptop, lightweight laptop etc., electronic waste is becoming a serious problem. Companies do need to take steps to safely dispose the used devices.