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Purdue promotes energy-efficient computing in ‘Power Down’ pledge challenge

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP) and Purdue Sustainability Council officials are encouraging the campus community to make “powering down” personal computers as common a practice as turning off a car and shutting refrigerator doors.

Purdue faculty, staff and students are asked to visit www.powerdownfortheplanet.org/purdue and pledge to set their computers to “sleep” mode when not actively in use during the national, monthlong Power Down for the Planet pledge challenge, which runs from March 23 through April 17.

Purdue faculty, staff and students are asked to pledge to set their computers to sleep mode when not actively in use during national Power Down for the Planet month.

Purdue faculty, staff and students are asked to pledge to set their computers to sleep mode when not actively in use during national Power Down for the Planet month.

The initiative challenges university communities to promote reduction of computer energy consumption and CO2 emissions. It is conducted in collaboration with the Climate Savers Computing Initiative – a nonprofit group dedicated to reducing computer-energy consumption – and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program.

The pledge challenge includes Purdue, Ohio State and Pennsylvania State universities, and the universities of California at Los Angeles and San Diego, Iowa, and Michigan, among others. The winner – to be announced April 22, which is Earth Day – will be the university with the highest percentage of its campus population taking the pledge.

From March 23 to April 17, members of the Purdue community can visit the Power Down web site, enter their purdue.edu e-mail address, and submit their pledge to use power management on personal computers and to ensure their future computer purchases bear the Energy Star logo.

“We’re hoping that the Power Down for the Planet pledge challenge will remind individuals to enable the settings as a way to decrease power consumption,” said Gerry McCartney, vice president for information technology and chief information officer at Purdue. “I’ll be pledging, and I encourage everyone to pledge as well.”

When enabled, power-management features place the monitor, hard drive and computer into a low-power “sleep” mode after a designated period of inactivity. A touch of the mouse or keyboard “wakes” the computer in seconds. A 2008 Harris Interactive study, however, estimated that 90 percent of computers run with such settings turned off. According to Energy Star, enabling those settings on just 100 Indiana desktop computers would annually save more than $60 per user in energy costs and prevent more than 60 tons of CO2 emissions.

“One of the biggest challenges to a successful energy conservation program is finding a way to influence people’s individual choices about how they consume energy,” said Robin Mills Ridgway, director of sustainability and environmental stewardship for Purdue. “I applaud ITaP’s initiative and encourage everyone with a personal computer to take the pledge.”

ITaP and Purdue Convocations are offering incentives for pledging. Participants can use their e-mailed pledge confirmation receipt to receive ticket discounts from Purdue Convocations, as well as to enter drawings for a Pantech Duo C810 Smartphone from AT&T, an iPod Shuffle from ITaP Shopping, or a Targus backpack from ITaP Shopping.

To enter the drawings, a printed confirmation e-mail can be submitted at ITaP Shopping Offline in Stewart Center, Room G-65. Proof of pledging also can be submitted to lab assistants in the following ITaP computer labs: Beering B281, Mathematical Sciences Building B010, Matthews 116, McCutcheon C216, Meredith 146S, Stanley Coulter G073, Stewart 102 and Wetherill 114.

Prize winners will be announced April 27.

Those presenting the printed proof of pledge and their Purdue identification at any campus box office can receive $5 off a single ticket to STOMP (March 31 and April 1) and Ain’t Misbehavin’ (April 23), both presented by Purdue Convocations in Elliott Hall of Music.

All e-mails printed for all incentives and prizes will be recycled.

In addition to the pledge challenge, Power Down for the Planet is hosting a national video contest open both to all Purdue students and the general public. By April 17, participants can submit an original YouTube video of three minutes or less that educates, entertains and informs about the importance of energy-efficient computing. Winning videos will be judged on content and relevance in a competition to win $5,000 in cash and additional prizes. Contest winners will be announced May 4. For more information on the video contest, visit www.powerdownfortheplanet.org/video

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