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IMG_0185 Computers and other technology can be wonderful, but if we aren’t careful they can take up too much of our time and use too much energy. In this month’s challenge, we invite you to investigate your relationship with your computer. Below you will find some suggestions from the BE team:
1. Go on a weekend Internet fast and use that time to pray for guidance on how to develop more godly habits.
2. Pledge to spend at least 10 percent less time in front of a computer screen. Use the extra time to take a walk, have a conversation with a family member or friend, or read your Bible.
3. Wait one month when you think you need a new computer; if you still believe you need one, consider buying used.
4. Donate your old or underused computer to a good cause.
5. Unclutter your inbox. Unsubscribe from mailing lists and e-catalogs, and you’ll spend less time checking and deleting emails. As a bonus, you’ll eliminate the temptation to shop for things you don’t need!
6. Turn off the computer monitor when you leave the room for more than two minutes. Monitors use up to 60 percent of the energy consumed by your computer system.
7. Avoid screen savers. They are big energy wasters.
8. To completely shut down your desktop computer, plug it into a power strip with an on/off switch and turn off your entire desktop setup in one easy step. Don’t settle for standby mode; your computer will continue to draw power. Giving your computer a complete rest will reduce heat and mechanical stress.
9. Save energy, switch to a laptop. Laptops use up to 90 percent less energy than desktops. Set your laptop to go into sleep mode after five minutes of inactivity, and let it draw power from the battery when possible.
10. Make it a practice to leave printers, scanners, and other infrequently used devices unplugged or switched entirely off until needed.
11. Print Double-Sided. Cut paper use in half by setting the default on your printer to double-sided printing. (You can still print single-sided when needed.)
12. Print Less. Avoid printing unnecessary emails or draft documents. Do as much information storing electronically as possible.
13. Use the draft mode when printing documents that aren’t final. Your printer’s draft mode uses about half the ink it would for a normal print job. Be sure to print this checklist of action items to keep track of what you’ve done this month! Then, send us your photos and stories, and we’ll share them below.
Previous Challenges: July 2013: Live Locally!

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