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While technology has become more energy efficient over the years, there’s still a lot to be done to improve the environmental impact of imaging products and practices. Whether you’re a pro, gear head, or hobbyist here are some simple things you can do to make the carbon footprint of your photo / video / audio work a little smaller.
1. Plug your gear (laptops, battery chargers, monitors, etc) into a power strip. When not in use, turn the power switch off. Strips with staggered plugs like the Monster Power 8-outlet Power Center or the Belkin 9-outlet Surge Protector make it easy to accommodate lots of equipment with easy access to the on/off switch.
2. Replace your desktop monitor with an LED backlit screen. Apple’s 24” Cinema Display is mercury-free, BRF-free, and employs PVC-free internal cables. Samsung offers the 23” spray paint and VOC-free SyncMaster XL2370. Both displays use less energy than traditional LCDs and significantly less power than CRT units.
3. Turn your computer off when it’s not in use. By shutting down your machine at night (and during the day when you’re away), you can save almost 90% of the energy that the computer would use if left on. Remember, sleep mode is only for brief idle times. If you’re not using your computer, turn it off!
4. Recycle old equipment. Professional and consumer electronics have short product life cycles. If your business (or desire to always have the latest and greatest) makes you buy a new camera / tv / sound mixer every time something new comes around, don’t just ditch your old stuff. One of the best ways to recycle old equipment is to sell it to our Used Department. If it’s beyond repair, check with your municipal or state government about electronics recycling programs in your area.
5. Get smart about light. Move your desk closer to a window to limit the lamp use -- you’ll get an added vitamin D bonus! If you must use lights at your desk, try compact fluorescent or LED light bulbs. Both last longer and consume less power than incandescent bulbs.
Got a green tip? Post below and help us keep the planet healthy for the next generation of image makers.
David Flores is a photographer and filmmaker based in New York City.