U-M Planet Blue
Sustainable Computing

Buy Smart

Making sustainable choices when buying electronics is a great way to get started with sustainable computing practices. Here are a few tips for buying smart:

Look for Environmentally-Friendly Electronics

When looking to purchase a new product, visit the following websites and see how energy efficient various models and companies truly are.

Laptop Computers

Most laptops are more energy-efficient than desktop models in order to conserve battery life. Using a laptop instead of a desktop can save energy.

Purchase with the Lifecycle of the Computer in Mind

Buy equipment calculated to last 4-5 years. Only 34% of life-cycle energy consumption occurs in the use phase; extending the lifetime could mitigate the energy burden of the production and disposal phases. (Center for Sustainable Systems Green IT Factsheet)

Power Strips

Don't Buy More Than You Need

When shopping for computer equipment, only buy what you need. For example, if you won't be playing high-definition games on your computer, don't include a high-end graphics card. You'll save money on both the purchase and the power used.

Buy Paper with Recycled Content

Look for recycled content when you buy paper. Recycled paper not only reduces harvesting of trees, it also uses less energy and less water, causes less pollution and saves landfill space.

U-M Best Practice

Complete the cycle; Buy Recycled Products

To close the loop, look for recycled materials in everything you buy. Increasingly more products are manufactured using recycled materials, which save resources and keeps materials out of the landfill. The EPEAT rating system considers both recycling and use of recycled materials when recommending environmentally-friendly electronics.