Green Computing Mistakes to Avoid

Green computing can help small businesses save time, money and sanity, while conserving energy and efficiency. Some businesses, however, jump into the practice without a plan, simply for the sake of “going green.” And that can lead to big mistakes.

Yes, everyone makes mistakes. But some are more preventable than others. Here’s a look at some of the biggest mistakes businesses make when it comes to green computing, and how to sidestep them.

Starting Without a Plan

Like any technology implementation, you shouldn’t move forward with green computing unless you’ve developed a comprehensive plan before any purchasing or implementation decisions have been made. Look at problem areas first, and then go from there. For example, if energy usage is a big concern, examine small and large steps that will help — such as putting automatic power-down settings in place on weekends.

Trying to Do Too Much, Too Fast

Green computing encompasses a wide range of strategies, from power management for printers to using cloud computing services. Attempting to implement green computing across an entire organization too quickly and too extensively can create hiccups in every area of the business.

Failing to Create a Tiered Implementation System

As part of your overall strategy, you should prioritize the steps you plan to take, and give yourself a realistic timetable for completing each one. For instance:

  1. Address paper-waste issues
  2. Institute energy-efficiency practices
  3. Reduce the number of desktop computers

Setting a time frame for these types of green computing goals is helpful for determining the return on investment as well.

Not Thinking About the Cloud

Virtualization and cloud computing are considered green-computing strategies because they increase energy efficiency through shared computing power. For example, if 50 companies use the same data center rather than 50 separate data centers, that will help reduce overall electricity, cooling and water usage.

Ignoring the Impact of E-waste

Part of green computing is recognizing the impact of computers and peripherals on the waste stream. While moving to more energy efficient laptops is important, it’s equally crucial to consider how older machines are disposed of or recycled. The Environmental Protection Agency has a resource page that details regulations and standards, and answers questions about donation and recycling used electronics. And Staples offers recycling services for your old laptops, ink and toner cartridges, and more.

Seeing Green Computing as an Expense or a Pain

Although creating a green computing plan takes time, and some upgrades might mean upfront costs, green computing strategies can greatly benefit your business. Some companies even make money through this practice. Rather than viewing the changes as more items for your already lengthy to-do list, see them as tactics with long-term advantages that benefit the environment, your business and your bottom line.

A Less Painful Process

By sidestepping mistakes like these, going green will be much more efficient and much less painful for your business.

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