If you’re an avid Mac user who spends many hours a day online, you probably use much energy. While Mac use is the last thing that comes to mind when you think about the environment, it can still contribute to excessive resource waste. In this article, we discuss the ways in which your Mac energy use can be minimized to have a less negative effect on the environment.
Change the Energy-Saving Settings
The first thing you need to do is to change the default energy settings. Go to the Apple menu and find system preferences. Choose how soon you want the computer to go to sleep when you’re not using it. There is no right or wrong answer as everything depends on your pattern of use. If you need your Mac for several hours straight, you can limit the time to several minutes. If you use the computer from time to time throughout the day, you may be irritated by having to wait for the drive to wake up. So, analyze your habits and try to avoid leaving your Mac working for a long time.
Cool Down Your Device
Your Mac may overheat for many reasons. These include but are not limited to the following:
- Exposure to direct sunlight and hot temperatures
- Accumulated dust blocks the airflow
- You work for many hours straight and use energy-demanding software
In all these cases, your Mac consumes too much energy trying to cool down. Therefore, avoid exploiting your device excessively and ensure it’s properly cleaned and stored away from direct sunlight.
Identify the Causes of High Energy Consumption
Malware, adware, browser hijacking apps, etc., are all energy demanding. Scan your Mac for these malicious programs and delete them either manually or with the help of a malware detection program. The latter version is preferable if you lack computer skills and don’t know how to clean up your device. Moreover, you need to check all the remaining apps, even legitimate ones, and delete those using a lot of power.
Adjust Brightness and Volume
Another way to make your Mac eco-friendlier is to change the audiovisual settings. Reduce the brightness of your screen to a comfortable minimum and do the same for the volume. You can also schedule the Mac to dim in the evening. Research shows that blue light exposure before bed adversely affects sleep, so by minimizing your nighttime light exposure, you will benefit both the environment and your health.
Unplug Whenever Possible
Leaving your Mac plugged in is not a good idea if you want to minimize its energy consumption. After recharging the battery, always unplug the device. The same applies to all plugged-in devices. When you don’t use a printer, power banks, USB Type-C adapters, etc., cut them off to save energy. Energy vampires still exist! It sounds 2007, we know.
Minimize Paper Use
When it comes to the environment, there is not only energy use that you should think about. Don’t overuse the printer to optimize your paper and ink usage. Print the documents only if absolutely necessary and print on both sides.
Use Newer Mac Models
Apple constantly evolves and comes up with innovative solutions regarding quality, efficiency, and eco-friendliness. The company boasted that its Macbook Air has a lower carbon footprint than older models because it is more energy-efficient. The device is also free of many harmful toxins, so you don’t have to worry about recycling and hazardous waste. Thus, with improved recyclability and energy efficiency, newer models of Mac are particularly appealing to customers who are concerned about their environmental footprint and have older models that no longer meet their needs.
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The same applies to newer monitors and external devices such as keyboards, printers, etc. Older versions are less energy-efficient, so consider getting more sophisticated and efficient models. However, there is another ethical dilemma here – you have to throw away the obsolete devices, which may contribute to the waste problem, and purchase new devices that require much energy and other resources to produce and deliver to you. Therefore, at least consider recycling if you are determined to get rid of power-consuming devices.
Don’t Buy a New Device Every Year
We all know that Apple can market its new devices successfully. However, think twice before upgrading your Mac because high demand spurs more production and, consequently, greater energy and resource use. As long as your device satisfies your needs, refrain from buying a newer version every fall.