This chapter will cover;
Where your computer comes from and where it ends up: Issues of resources wars and pollution. Prolong the life of your computer & Low Power computing reduce processor use to do both of the above.
More info on Congo
Breaking computers in India etc
Examples of low energy hardware. LED monitors and small computers with no moving parts like the ones featured here - http://www.aleutia.com/products
It may be better environmentally to get a new low power set up than to recycle older computers.
Reusing Old Computers
Power use is not the only consideration when thinking of low-impact computing. Saving older computers from landfill and prolonging their life is a most valid thing to do.
Check the Wattage of any older computers that you are recycling
How to assess the embodied energy of different products (manufacture, shipping etc.)
An LTSP set up may be useful to reuse older hardware and if laptops are found.
Brief description and links to LTSP
Turn off Wireless if you are not using it
Wireless is a massive source of power use in computers and especially laptops. Get some Cat5 cable if you have a home network.
Reduce screen resolution
(note by marker: if you mean set the graphics chip to it's lowest usable resolution, yes this will reduce power a little bit, but that needs to be made clear. You might also want to disable 3d acceleration, for example by blacklisting modules. Also mention the powertop utility.))
Try a low - power windows manager.
LXDE is an alternative to Gnome which uses less processor power and therefore less power.
Awesome is a whole custom system
If you are on a very limited power supply or running from a battery, simple things like having a black background to your screen may help prolong your battery life. .
(note by marker: the above is only true for LED and CRT screens, not for the majority of laptops which still have a CCFL source. The light source uses the same amount of energy regardless of what colours you filter out using the TFT infront of it. I think the point you want to make here is to reduce the brightness, have the screen automatically switch off after a short period of inactivity, and other power management settings like spinning down HDDs)