How being a dimwit can save you money

turn down screen brightness to be greenSmall Footprints has a great “Change the World Wednesday” challenge for us this week.

It’s one of those challenges that makes you realise living more sustainably can take just a few minutes, cost you nothing and even SAVE money and resources!

If you’re just dipping a toe into a greener lifestyle but feeling put off by money and time constraints this is the perfect challenge for you! You won’t even have to get up out of your seat…

Small Footprints writes “This week, reduce the brightness of your monitor to the lowest level you can comfortably stand. Even lowering it one or two “notches” will help. Then, set the energy saving preferences to turn off the display (yes, turn it off rather than use a screen saver) when dormant for a short time (2-15 minutes).”

According to her research, an LCD monitor uses between 20-40 watts of electricity … a CRT version uses approximately 80 watts. And of course, laptops run off batteries, but if we use the monitor on the brightest setting, the battery will quickly need recharging.

Now I’m pleased to admit I’m slightly ahead of the game on this one as I recently had to buy a new desktop.

As you can imagine; buying new products are a bit of a nightmare for me. I spend so much extra time trying to get something that matches my techie needs as well as my ‘green conscience’ needs. However, I feel confident I succeeded!

The machine I have is an ‘all in one desktop’ with some great sustainability features built in.

Tied in with this week’s challenge is a brightness control which automatically adjusts to the effects of ambient light. In addition I have various setting in the power manager which I can manually override.

The default setting is for maximum brightness on the screen and the display to go off after ten minutes of idle time. On the maximum energy setting, the screen is on the lowest setting (perfect for me because I don’t like a bright screen) and the display goes off after 5 minutes. Apparently I can even monitor and control this remotely!

As well as carrying the Energy Star label, the desktop I have is GreenGuard certified which means it is free of up to 2000 potentially harmful contaminants. What’s most exciting to me is the machine is made from up to 65% post-consumer content – you know how I love to recycle!

What about you? Will you be dimming your screen and brighting up the planet?