Green IT at SUNY Potsdam

Submitted by B. Maggie Foster.

The Computing and Technology Services at The State University of New York Potsdam have taken “green” initiatives to the next level by offering eco-friendly print services and showcasing energy-saving actions that students can implement on their own.

Sustainable initiatives in place at the university followed an audit from NYSERDA in 2007. The auditors examined many features of the university, including computing and technology services. Upon conclusion, “One of NYSERDA's most prominent findings concerns Monitor Power Management (MPM) and Computer Power Management (CPM). MPM places active monitors into a low power sleep mode after the computer has been idle for a specified period of time, thus reducing power draw from 30-90 watts to 2-3 watts. CPM places the computer itself (CPU, hard drive, etc.) into a low power sleep mode reducing power draw from 40-90 watts to 2-3 watts.” The CTS team at SUNY Potsdam took action to follow the report’s recommendations for public computers, and provide all users with the steps necessary to insure their personal computer is energy efficient as well – you can follow their instructions to change power options on Windows and OS X, and download a poster to remind users to turn off the power strip.
One of the coolest features discovered was the implementation of the EcoFont. EcoFont is available for any operating system and its “holey” type reduces the use of ink/toner, which is great for the environment, and cost-efficient! The font was installed on all campus computers, and independent users are prompted to download their own copy for personal use. I did it, and you can too! Click here to download the free EcoFont Vera Sans to your computer today.

The SUNY Potsdam CTS team has the triple bottom line covered by providing their students and faculty with tips and tricks that are economically feasible, environmentally sound, and socially equitable. They’ve gone green. Have you?

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The Sustainability Spotlight is a weekly series that highlights community-driven, environmentally sound, and economically responsible programs and projects in libraries and other organizations. You can find more projects in the Sustainability Spotlight Archive or visit NYLA's Sustainability Initiative to learn more about how you can get started with sustainability in your library.