Saving Green by Being Green

I think one of the most important things that come up when trying to turn a creative to the world of green is the money. It’s something I’ll be continuously looking into but the bad news is being green isn’t always cheap. Because of this, I’m going to ease your conversion into the world of environmental friendliness.

However, being green can sometimes mean saving green.

This is going to take a little bit of math; I apologize. But I can show you the reality of situation pretty quickly. I work on a 27-inch iMac with external speakers a printer and backup drives. I’m going to assume that I work a typical eight-hour day and that I’m pushing the processor with some massive Photoshop work, speakers playing (loudly) and my printer flipped on.

This chart shows that just based on the few electronics mentioned you can save some green over the course of a year simply by flipping items off.

If you’re like me though, you probably have a dozen other electronic devices (scanners, battery charges, digital cameras and who knows what else) connected to your computer and nearby outlets. Now that I’ve got you shutting down your computer when you’re not using it and setting it to standby during your work day, the last energy saving technique is to stop your equipment from leeching power.

Leeching is the draw of current from the outlet even when the item plugged in is turned off. I’ve adopted a handy dandy piece of technology called a “SmartStrip” from SmartHomeUSA that prevents leeching. You plug in the master device (for me I use my iMac) and when you turn off your Mac (or even standby if you wish) it will kill all the other electrical devices plugged in (except those in the “always on” plugs.)

This allows me to shut down my backup drive, my scanner, printer, and so forth the moment my computer shuts off. I wish I could tell you how much the savings will be, but for the $30 investment, I can say my electric bill has dropped noticeably. (I also use one in my entertainment center and my home photography studio.)

So while your savings aren’t instant, neither is saving the planet. We have to look at the long haul; how much power are we saving in the long run? And with this particular tip, how much money will you save over the course of a couple years? With the long haul in mind, you can see the green savings both in-house and for the planet!

Anyone tried this? Other tips to share?