Green computing is important to society due to the prolific manufacturing and use of electronic equipment in modern societies. In addition to the environmental impacts of the energy production necessary to run this equipment, of concern are the materials used to produce electronics, and how to dispose of electronic waste.
Also known as green technology, green computing seeks to minimize negative environmental impacts through the responsible use of electronics, through the creation of energy-efficient designs (such as with CPUs), through the implementation of recycling programs that can repurpose existing computers, and through the designing of manufacturing processes that minimize waste.
One of the earliest and most recognized voluntary public initiatives for green computing was the Environmental Protection Agency's introduction of the "Energy Star" label in 1992 that is commonly seen on laptops and computer displays. This program was also adopted in Europe and Asia.
Some of the regular practices that can be employed by the home electronic or computer user to support green computing include the use of the sleep or hibernate functions when not actively using a unit, powering computers completely off overnight, considering the purchase of refurbished units as opposed to new ones, and complying with local guidelines for the safe and responsible disposal of waste equipment.