Reducing energy consumption in networks is receiving considerable research interest. Different approaches have been advocated, from traffic engineering and topology control to hardware-based approaches. These approaches can work at long-time scales of several hours to very small timescales of a few microseconds. In this paper, we focus on finer time granularity energy saving schemes. To increase the usage of active links and to increase the down time of already sleeping links, we use alternative forwarding. To our best knowledge, this is the first attempt to collaborate a routing scheme with hardware scheme to save energy consumption in the wired networks. In our evaluation, alternative forwarding achieves 10% more energy saving of the communication links compared to a hardware-based sleeping scheme.