Everybody’s an environmentalist now. The choices we make as individuals and small businesses can reduce our environmental impact. When it comes to IT, you can help by choosing a green-minded manufacturer, recycling packaging and old computers, reducing energy consumption and choosing PCs with the least environmental impact. Here’s a quick Green IT checklist:

  1.  Buy from green-minded manufacturers

Most PC manufacturers have information on their website about corporate social responsibility. Check it out and buy from a company that shares your values.

  1.  Recycle packaging and old computers

Reputable manufacturers make nearly all of their packaging out of recycled materials. You can do your bit by recycling the packaging after you have unpacked your PC. It’s good to find ways to reuse or recycle old computers. There are charities who will find good homes for old, working PCs, for example.

  1.  Reduce energy consumption

Use system settings and energy management software to help your PC use as little power as possible. For example, HP’s Power Manager (available on select HP Business Desktop PCs) can cut energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Check your own carbon footprint using HP’s free web-based Carbon Footprint Calculator.

  1.  Compare different systems

PCs may look alike but there is a big difference when it comes to their environmental credentials. Reputable manufacturers publish detailed environmental assessments for their products. For example, HP has published 1,200 IT Eco Declarations about its products.

  1.  Use objective standards

Look for systems that meet the latest, highest standards, such as EPEAT Gold and ENERGY STAR. This will tell you which machines have the least environmental impact and the lowest energy consumption.

  1.  Choose PCs that are easy to recycle

It is more environmentally friendly to buy PCs that are designed to be recycled easily. This means steps such as labeling different plastic components and making systems easy to disassemble. For example, some PCs are more than 90 percent recyclable, by weight.