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Saving Energy Through Technology

We hope everyone is off to a great start in 2020 and you’re keeping up with your New Year’s resolutions! While going to the gym more often and eating healthier foods are fantastic personal resolutions, making changes in your daily lives to reduce your energy consumption is a great resolution to reduce your ecological footprint and improve the world around you (and lower your power bills).

Some simple things you can change that will quickly make a difference is to switch to LED light bulbs around your home. Look for the ENERGY STAR-qualified products which use up 90 percent less energy and last much longer than outdated light bulbs. When you’re buying new appliances like refrigerators or washing machines, make sure it’s an ENERGY STAR certified model.

Another great addition to your home in 2020 is a smart thermostat. If you are unfamiliar, smart thermostats allow you to program schedules in your heating and air conditioning to lower your power bills significantly. You can often get rebates with your new smart thermostats too.

Check out Georgia for some more quick tips to save you energy.

At Zoo Atlanta, our IT Team has been working to reduce our energy use by decommissioning older equipment, consolidating servers and adopting new technology. Most desktop computers around the Zoo have been upgraded to small form factor models rather than traditional towers, and hard drives have been switched to solid state drives, which don’t need moving parts and fans to reduce heat, therefore reducing energy consumption around the Zoo. Devices have also been programmed to sleep or shut down when not in use. These switches have reduced our desktop footprint by about 75 percent.

The IT team has also consolidated our four initial servers down to three by switching to new server models and using Cloud computing for added storage. All of our key application, web and database servers are now virtualized as well. By consolidating to three servers, we’ve saved roughly 2400 Watts of energy.

You probably won’t need to worry about consolidating servers at home, but it is always beneficial to switch to new technology to save energy, and be sure to keep an eye out for ENERGY STAR-certified models. And don’t just toss your old equipment in the trash or on the side of the road – find a recycling center to properly dispose of your old devices and appliances. Check out CHaRM (the Center for Hard to Recycle Materials) if you live in the Metro Atlanta area!

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