Want to go beyond the basics of reduce, reuse, recycle to make your workplace more environmentally friendly? There are several new technologies that can help reduce energy use and wasteful practices.
1. Cloud computer online services
Forget lugging your work laptop home or working at home. Cloud computing services allow for those with an Internet connection to access files from any computer. Such services can transform virtual office, making it easier for telecommuting or remote work to be completed on time, on schedule and with the input of all necessary team members. Cloud computer online services also help to reduce unnecessary paper use, much like email and ftp sites reduce the need for a hardcopy of information. Also, because information is stored on a remote server, computers that are not in use can be disconnected from the power grid, stopping the continued use of energy after the computer has been shut off.
2. Online services for contracts
As the virtual workforce expands, the need to offer online contracts is needed. These services save time and reduce the need to print out hard copies and sign contracts before returning through the mail, fax or emailing a scanned document. Providers, such as Docusign, allow for quick and secure transactions that eliminate paper from the process. Users upload a document and enter email addresses. The documents are then reviewed by the recipients and they can sign the document from an Internet browser or mobile device. For those who may lose things in a mountain of paper, it can be easily stored, filed and reviewed at any time.
3. LED Office Lamps
Light-emitting diodes, or LED lights, can replace old, outdated fluorescent light fixtures in offices. The result is a light that lasts about 10 times longer than regular incandescent light bulbs and even more than five times longer than new compact fluorescent bulbs. They also offer significant savings when you compare the annual operating costs. LED lights cost about half the operational costs of a CFL and one tenth of the cost of operating an incandescent light bulb. The cost of LED bulbs is typically more than the cost of a fluorescent or incandescent bulb, but the longer life and reduced operating costs can provide long-term savings.
4. Verdiem Edison energy management software
This software allows businesses to use power management policies so that IT administrators can centrally control the energy use of computers on the network. It allows users to set a schedule for when computers are used and decide if the company wants to save more or less energy. The program estimates energy savings based on the settings selected. The program is free for home users and is available for Windows platform computers. The Environmental Protection Agency has reported the different between the energy consumed by a computer using power management software and one not using the software is about 410 kilowatt-hours a year, an average of about $36.50.
5. Ink saving printers
In addition to choosing different fonts, new types of printers can save on the need to buy ink and toner cartridges. Thermal printers use no ink but produce a printed image by selectively heating coated thermal paper. These are capable of printing up to two colors and would meet most office printing needs. They are quiet and consumer less power and, since there is no ink or toner cartridge to make a mess, are portable.
Article by Mike Barbre, a social media professional and technology enthusiast. When he’s not using Intermedia’s Hosted Exchange, he can be found following Intermedia on Twitter and as a fan of Intermedia on Facebook.