Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

On Saturday, March 28 at 8:30 p.m. local time, people around the world will shut off their lights for one hour. The goal is to let world leaders know that the citizens of the world are concerned about global warming and unchecked energy consumption.

While silent demonstration may prove to be an effective political statement, there are plenty of ways to do more than just that by just looking at typical business IT practices.

If the real goal is to effect meaningful power-saving change, then adopting some simple practices and rules can have an impact on both the bottom line and saving the world.

Today, technologist can employ some simple techniques to help green up the home and business environment a little more. First and foremost, PC users can enable sleep and hibernation technologies found on most every system to reduce power usage. Solution providers and administrators looking to make that happen can turn to a product like Surveyor from Verdiem to enforce green policies.

But saving a few watts here and there is just the start – IT departments can embrace the recycling of equipment a little more and services like TechTurn can turn those old PCs into dollars and prevent them from adding to landfill waste. 

Disposal of equipment is only one part of the problem, how new pieces of technology are purchased can also have a big impact on green initiatives. Recently, manufactures like Xerox have started to use “reduced waste packaging,” where most of the environmentally unfriendly packaging has been eliminated and the remainder is easy to recycle.

The very design of PCs are also starting to have more of a green slant, companies like Lenovo are embracing many green technologies to make their PCs as environmentally friendly as possible.

System builders can jump in the green game by following some simple rules to make their systems just as green as the big guys.

And virtualization technology isn’t just for large enterprises. Microsoft is reporting that small businesses are leveraging virtualization technologies to ensure their servers and storage devices are operating at maximum capacity. This results is having to buy less equipment, which reduces power consumption.

For the technologist, all it takes is a little awareness, a little effort and a little time to expand a one-hour event into a lifetime of savings. Today, information technology consumes a little more than 1 percent of the world’s energy, but it’s one of the fastest growing energy consumers. Solution providers can make a big difference to extend Earth Hour with their customers using simple tools and techniques.