EcoModo - The Best of TreeHugger

This week at TreeHugger: Do you ever wonder which parts of your computer are using the most power and what you can do about that? Take this quiz to test your knowledge and improve your eco-IQ. We take a gander at the new book called "The Clean Tech Revolution", which states, among other things, that "clean tech" like solar, wind power, alternative fuels and others are undergoing something of a "revolution."

A new study found that more than half of the ink from inkjet cartridges is wasted when users toss them in the garbage, because most users chuck them when their printers tells them they're out of ink, even they may still be over half full. Lastly, check out the work done by Electronic Crafts, who have created a funky mix of electronics nerdery and DIY ingenuity, with a little solar and LED fun thrown in for good measure.

Did you ever wonder which parts of your computer are using the most power and what you can do to reduce energy use? Take the Handelsblatt PC Energy Quiz to test your knowledge and improve your eco-IQ. One caveat: the quiz is in German, but we've translated the most interesting stuff for English consumption. Turns out the CPU is the hungriest power pig in the typical PC, but the choice of processor can make a big difference, with AMD Sempron 64 topping the list. And, surprise, surprise: switching it off when not in use is the best way to reduce power consumption. Check out the rest of the piece for details on other power-saving strategies.

We take a look under the hood of a new book called "The Clean Tech Revolution", and we like what we see. Every week there's more and more clean technology news and we're happy to report it. Bigger wind farms, better solar panels, alternative fuels and ultra-efficient architecture are all part of a trend that is making the world a better place. "Environmental" books are so often about the problems that newcomers and hippies alike can come away either disheartened or frightened. But this book is swollen with solutions. Read on for more details.

It's no secret that inkjet printer manufacturers try and make most of their money off the consumables associated with printing. A new study found that more than half of the ink from inkjet cartridges is wasted when users toss them in the garbage. This is because most users chuck them when their printers tells them they're out of ink, rather than when they're actually out: The gadget might be lying—they may still be over half full. According to the Epson-sponsored study, Epson's own R360 posted the best numbers (surprise, surprise), with only 9 percent of the ink wasted. Kodak's EasyShare 5300 came in as the bottom of the list, wasting over 64 percent of its ink in tests.

Lastly, check out the work done by Electronic Crafts, who have created a funky mix of electronics nerdery and DIY ingenuity, with a little solar and LED fun thrown in for good measure. Recognizing that the electronic manufacturing process is currently a highly polluting process, they've designed "Bright Nights," translucent light boxes where the electronic components are fully visible and part of the aesthetic of the pieces: Instead of hiding the electronics behind a black box, they become an inherent part of the object in a hope to familiarize the end consumer with how these objects are made and what goes into them. The Night Brights, powered by small solar cells that recharge a super-capacitor instead of a traditional Ni-Cad or Ni-MH battery that can sustain thousands of charging cycles against only a few hundreds for batteries, are super-efficient LED bulbs, helping the light get the most bang for its solar-powered buck.

TreeHugger's EcoModo column appears every Tuesday on Gizmodo.