06 April 2009

We should use less

Are you interested in "a for-profit company that sells sustainable products and gives 10% of profits to water and sanitation projects. "

Check out useless, a new company with "useless" designed and branded products, from water bottles to really cool-looking bags made from recycled billboards.

The products look great, the premise is solid. - and best of all is that useless is looking to partner with colleges to "help campuses and students cut down on waste and raise money for clean water and sanitation projects."

Their first partner? My alma mater, Hampshire College.

Not so useless after all.

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14 November 2007

Computer Costs

Given the problems I have been having with putting my computer in "Suspend" mode - about 30% of the time, turning it back on disables the USB ports - I decided to go for a month leaving the machine running 24/7. I thought it would be worth trying for 30 days, to see what the impact might be, in exchange for not having my peripherals turned off and thus being forced to reboot the computer.

I'm running a two-year-old Dell XPS 400 desktop, with an Energy Star rating. (I also have a smallish flat screen monitor, which was turned off; no reason to leave it on.) I use the computer a lot, but not without the occasional break.

The results of my test are now in, and I can put a dollar figure to it: $25. That's how much my electricity bill went up during those 30 days while I left the computer running. Is it worth an extra $25 to leave the machine on? No - not worth it to me, and not worth it to the planet. However, it would be great if Microsoft could figure out a way to fix their Windows operating system so that the "Suspend" feature works as a user might actually expect.

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