The number is staggering — an estimated 5 percent of global energy consumption (and global CO2 emissions) is attributed to computing services. The internet itself uses 2-3 percent of the world's energy supply and when you add in all those home computers, laptops, mobile phones, ISP providers and personal electronic devices, the sum is 1.36 trillion tons of CO2, far surpassing the aviation industry in terms of its impact on the planet.

Fortunately, the "Green IT" wave is sweeping the hi-tech world promising savings of 33 percent, 50 percent and even 80 percent, depending on the strategies and technologies deployed. The innovations are coming out faster than you can shake a coaxial cable at, and there is an entire site called Green Computing dedicated solely to news and innovations in the Green IT field. But below I showcase 3 great examples which will give you an idea about the range of solutions now becoming available:

Climate Savers Smart Computing, an Initiative by Google, Intel and the WWF to reduce computing energy 50 percent by 2010.

Mariott's massive virtualization and power management project which has saved 33 percent in server costs.

Power Assure, a sophisticated energy management software that uses patent pending 'load shifting' technologies to achieve 80% savings.

'Smart computing' could reduce IT power consumption by 50%
Virtualization, cloud servers, and load shifting, oh my!