Lavasoft News - August 2007 http://www.lavasoft.com

Green Computing and the Lavasoft Challenge

When it comes to a safe computing environment, there is more to consider than online security and privacy issues. Today’s society is interconnected with computers, at home and at the office, at work and at play; as our modern lives go increasingly digital, there has been a significant impact on the environment.

“Our growing dependence on electronics products both at home and in the workplace has given rise to a new environmental challenge: electronic waste,” according to Earth 911. Electronic waste, or e-waste, is said to be growing at three times the rate of other waste produced by cities, the organization reports.

And that’s not the only issue brought on by our love of computing. Energy consumption and paper product waste are other environmental challenges produced by computer use.

How can you help to alleviate the environmental impact of your gadget use? You can work on practicing “green computing” - operating online in an environmentally responsible way. This can be a goal for both home PC users and corporations.

You may already know that Lavasoft is a socially conscious company. We are dedicated to creating positive change in the spyware industry, but we also focus on charity efforts like we have with local youth programs in Sweden, such as Friends (a non-profit organization that takes a stand against bullying) and BRIS (an NGO working for children’s rights in society).

As part of this effort to make a difference, we actively search for other like-minded socially conscious companies. GreenPrint Technologies is one such company. Not only does GreenPrint software save computer users time and money, and ultimately has a positive impact on the environment by saving trees, but the company also goes a step further.

As a member of “1% for the Planet,” GreenPrint plans to donate at least one percent of their sales to tree-planting efforts through their environmental partners and, according to their “Million Tree March” campaign, they will plant a tree for every copy of GreenPrint sold through their website before March 31, 2008.

Lavasoft is now adding to their tree planting effort with our own challenge to get you involved in improving the environment – for every GreenPrint product purchased by a Lavasoft customer, two trees will be planted!

To give you a little perspective on how that contribution helps the environment, according to the USDA Forest Service, a single tree generates $31,250 (U.S.) worth of oxygen, provides $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycles $37,500 worth of water, and controls $31,250 worth of soil erosion, over a 50-year life span.

The tree planting project is coordinated by American Forests, an organization that plants native trees in ecosystem restoration projects across the United States and around the world, and by Sustainable Harvest International (SHI), a group committed to long-term sustainable development in Central American farming communities where the trees are planted. You can read more about projects led by these organizations at www.americanforests.org and www.sustainableharvest.org.

Stay tuned for the results of the Lavasoft challenge in the next LN. In the meantime, take a look below at a few simple “green computing” tips you can put to use today.

  • Save resources by turning your computer off when it’s not being used. Instead of leaving your PC on 24 hours a day, use “sleep mode” or turn the computer off fully when you’re not using it in order to save energy. This will also help monitor equipment run cooler and last longer.
  • Consider buying energy efficient computers and electronic products. According to Energy Star, an international standard for energy efficient electronic equipment, Energy Star compliant home electronics products will consume around 75 percent less energy in standby mode than standard products.
  • Watch paper print-out consumption. GreenPrint stats show that in 2004 the United States alone used 8 million tons of office paper - the equivalent of 178 million trees! Print pages only when necessary, and try to avoid printing unwanted, excess pages.
  • Recycle your old PC. As much as 50 million metric tons of e-waste is generated annually, as people upgrade laptops and PCs and throw out old models, according to a 2005 United Nations report cited by Reuters. PCs and computer parts set out in the regular trash can end up in landfills, where they will release lead, mercury and other toxins into the environment.
  • Use the web as a resource for finding other ways to “go green” in your daily life. For a starting point, read CNET’s article “Green Tech” to find out more on living with green technology.

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GreenPrint GreenPrint Buy GreenPrint Home for $35
Stats
The global IT industry accounts for 2 percent of the world's carbon dioxide emissions - the same amount produced by the world's aviation industry, Gartner statistics show. Over the next 5 years, technology companies will be met with growing financial, environmental and legislative pressure to become more environmentally sustainable, according to a Gartner analyst.

Source: CNET News.com

herdsman with computers
Term of the Month
A bot herder is a hacker who installs malicious software on a PC without the knowledge of the computer user, with the ultimate goal of controlling thousands of compromised machines. Once hackers install their software, they are capable of controlling the infected computers remotely. After they have compromised enough computers, bot herders have a robot network, or botnet, under their command.

Source: www.fbi.gov
Tech Tips
How can you help fight the botnet battle, and make sure that your PC does not end up under a bot herder’s control? Contributing to the problem is the large number of home users whose computers do not have adequate protection and are easy prey for botnet operators. It is critical that home users install up-to-date firewalls, anti-virus and anti-spyware software, in addition to being cautious when going online. If you have been a victim of cyber crime, you can also file a complaint online through the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Helpful Homepages
Electronic waste or e-waste is one of the fastest growing waste problems. So before you buy that new PC, think about what to do with the old one. Visit www.computertakeback.com or www.earth911.org to find out more about recycling your electronics. The Computer TakeBack Campaign focuses on requiring consumer electronics manufacturers to take responsibility for the life cycle of their products, while Earth 911 offers community-specific environmental information for consumers looking to live more responsibly.
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