Computer hardware production and disposal is one of the fastest growing threats to our environment. Since today is Earth Day and you're likely reading this on a computer, what can we do about it?
Use less computers. Calgary's Userful Corporation announced last week that in the past year its software that allows up to ten people to work from one computer has saved 29,000* tons of CO2 emissions, the equivalent of taking more than 5,000 cars off the road.
Modern desktop computers sit idle virtually the entire day while we read or type. Userful leverages this unused computing power to create an environmentally efficient alternative to traditional desktop computing. Up to 10 users can work on a single computer by simply attaching extra monitors, mice and keyboards. Need an extra PC around the house? Userful is giving away a free version of its innovative software that gives you a second computer for free.
Recycle your old computer. In Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton, contact the Electronic Recycling Association. They're a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing electronic waste through the reuse and recycling of unwanted computers and related electronic equipment and the donation of refurbished computers to charities.
All computer equipment is sorted by volunteers. It is then determined if suitable for donation to a local non-profit organization or handled for recycling. They offer complete hard-drive wiping by request as well as free local pick-up services (for 15 Items or more) and drop off depots for smaller quantities.