Do you know how an old computer can help you to save money on your electric bill?
The old computer that you might be thinking of throwing away or replacing with a shiny new one can actually help you reduce your carbon footprint and your electricity costs.
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Today I want to share with you a surprising way to save money on your energy bill and create a better green image for your company: using the old computer in your office.
Yes, you heard me right. Let me explain.
First of all, you need to consider the energy that goes into producing a new computer and disposing of an old one. According to some estimates, manufacturing a new computer requires about 240 kg of fossil fuels, 22 kg of chemicals and 1.5 tonnes of water. That's a lot of resources for something that will probably last you only a few years. On the other hand, disposing of an old computer can also have negative environmental impacts, such as releasing toxic substances into the soil and water, or contributing to the growing problem of electronic waste.
Secondly, you need to compare the power consumption of the old and new computers. You might think that newer computers are more energy-efficient than older ones, but that's not always the case. Depending on the usage and the components, an older computer can actually use less power than a newer one. For example, these studies show that, on average, newer computers use 70W when active and 9W in low-power mode (Roberson et al: 2002), whereas older computers use 55W when active and 25W in low-power mode (Kawamoto et al: 2001). Of course, this depends on many factors, such as the type of monitor, CPU, graphics card, etc., but the point is that newer is not always better when it comes to energy efficiency.
So, how much can you save by using the old computer in your office? Well, let's do some math. Assuming that you use your computer for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, here's how much you would spend per year on electricity for your computer in different regions:
- USA: (70W x 8h x 5d x 52w / 1000) x $0.13 = $23.97 for a new computer vs (55W x 8h x 5d x 52w / 1000) x $0.13 = $18.62 for an old computer
- UK: (70W x 8h x 5d x 52w / 1000) x £0.34 = £62.16 for a new computer vs (55W x 8h x 5d x 52w / 1000) x £0.34 = £48.44 for an old computer
That's a difference of $5.35 or £13.72 per year, which might not seem like much, but if you multiply that by the number of computers in your office, it can add up quickly. Plus, you also need to factor in the cost of buying a new computer and disposing of an old one, which can be significant.
But saving money is not the only benefit of using the old computer in your office. You also get to reduce your CO2 emissions and show your customers and partners that you care about the environment. According to this calculator from EPA, using an old computer instead of a new one can save about 17 kg of CO2 per year. That's equivalent to planting one tree or driving 42 miles less.
Another benefit of using the old computer in your office is that you can install different software like Linux on it and make it run faster and smoother than ever before. Linux is a free and open-source operating system that comes in various flavors or distributions that are designed to be lightweight and compatible with older hardware. Some examples of Linux distributions that you can use on your old computer are Ubuntu, Mint, Puppy Linux , VectorLinux Light , Lubuntu , Peppermint , Slax , Zorin OS Lite , Tiny Core , etc.
Linux is popular on older machines because minimalist distros like Xubuntu run great on PCs with low memory and processor power while modern Windows versions struggle to do so on ageing hardware.
It also gives you more control over your system and lets you customize it according to your needs and preferences. You can choose from thousands of free applications available in the Linux repositories or install them from other sources and can also enjoy better security and privacy with Linux as it is less prone to viruses and malware than Windows.
So, what do you think? Are you ready to give your old computer a second chance? Or do you still prefer to upgrade to a new one? Contact us for a free consultation, and don't forget to share this post with your network if you have found it useful.
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