Computers may only be small, but they can churn through power.

There are a number of simple ways to reduce power use:

  • When you leave your computer for a short while, turn off the screen to reduce power consumption - screen-savers do not save power.

  • Turn your computer off at the powerpoint when you’re not using it. The standby light uses a lot of electricity and standby power can account for more than 10 per cent of household electricity use.

  • If you have a printer, only turn it on when you need to print.

E-waste created by unwanted computers is a growing problem in Australia.

It’s important to reuse and recycle wherever possible.

Computers contain a number of toxic chemicals:

  • lead in the batteries,

  • brominated flame retardants (BRFs), and

  • polyvinyl chloride (PVC) used for coating wires.

These toxins can leach into the environment and cause health risks if taken to landfill; so unwanted computers or their parts should never be put into your household garbage.

  • You may be able to organise a cartridge recycling fundraiser for your school, look online for organisations that do this.

  • If you have an unwanted, working computer, donate it to a friend or charity.

The game console is becoming the centre of home entertainment systems.

Game console manufacturers are continually improving the energy usage of their products, although the overall energy use is increasing as they begin to perform media streaming functions.

_You can still save energy on these products: _ - choose game consoles with lower power usage, and

  • turn it off at the powerpoint!