Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Green at Interop

You can save green by going green with a pre-owned refurbished server, rack or workstation from Stallard Technologies, Inc. (STI). At this years Interop Las Vegas expo, Jeff Palmer, Vice President and COO of STI, recently explained how they refurbish equipment newly off-lease or pre-owned and give otherwise-destined-for-the-landfill IT equipment new life. And if it can't be re-used, it is broken down into components and recycled.

Greening your IT can result in saving some green. Data centers consume more energy per square foot than any other part of an office building, predominantly from servers and cooling. For example, Religare Enterprises Limited (REL), one of the leading financial services companies in India, is building three energy-efficient data centers that will reduce REL’s annual power costs by 30-35%, with estimated savings of over $250,000 a year. Associated Bank’s new data center expansion in Green Bay, Wisc., includes a new cooling system that will save the financial firm plenty of green – to the tune of $115,000 annually, reports American Banker.

But apart from STI, I noticed almost a laissez-faire attitude about green and very little mention of green or energy-efficiency in booth marketing at Interop, the leading business technology event, being held in Las Vegas, April 25-29, 2010. Maybe this is because of Forrester's survey data that states, "more energy is actually consumed by distributed IT assets in aggregate (e.g. PCs, monitors, printers, phones) – 55% across distributed IT vs. 45% in the data center. And even more so, the IT industry is only responsible for 3% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions." Clearly green was not a focus this year.

Doug Washburn on, who spoke at Interop on “The Evolution Of Green IT: Projects That Cut Cost, Avoid Risk And Grow Revenues” to help IT professionals plan for green IT’s current and future state, suggests looking beyond greening traditional hardware to services, processes, software and people. Things like energy audits and power management software can result in significant energy and money savings.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

40 ways to celebrate Earth Day's 40th anniversary!

1. Pull the plug: Use a power strip to turn off televisions, stereos and computer systems when you're not using them and unplug appliances such as phone chargers, extra refrigerators, and printers until you need them.
2. Bump your thermostat: Set it to 78 degrees and open the windows when there is a fresh breeze. (In the winter, set it to around 68 degrees and turn it down even more when you go to sleep or are away.)
3. Put your fridge on a diet: If your fridge is equipped with a power-saving feature, use it. Set your refrigerator temperature at 38 to 42 degrees Fahrenheit; your freezer should be set between 0 and 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Read: Walden, An Inconvenient Truth, Silent Spring, The Omnivore's Dilemma, Hot, Flat and Crowded, Go Green, Live Rich.
5. Cook green.
6. Power down your computer.
7. Turn your water heater down to 120 degrees (Farenheit).
8. Build a solar oven.
9. Test your windows and doors for leaks: Hold a ribbon near the windowsills or door jamb. If it’s fluttering, you have a leak. Caulk it up to save energy and money.
10. Fix leaky faucets and pipes.
11. Make your water multi-task: Use it more than once while grooming, cleaning, washing dishes and playing.
12. Go paperless.
13. Make a waste-free lunch.
14. Host a waste-free picnic with friends and family.
15. Buy less stuff.
16. Install a CFL or compact fluorescent light bulb.
17. Grasscycle: Leave grass clippings on your lawn (instead of bagging them up) where they will naturally decompose and hold in soil moisture, prevent freezing, and return nutrients to the soil.
18. Stop your junk mail.
19. Weigh your waste: Every night for a week, collect your household garbage and weigh it on your bathroom scale. Record your results every few weeks and celebrate your success as your trash slims down.
20. Make your own green cleaning products.
21. Try xeriscaping.
22. Start composting.
23. Plant a tree, a flower, or a garden with your children.
24. Adopt a pet from your local animal shelter.
25. Volunteer.
26. Don't drive one day a week.
27. Explore nature in your local community.
28. Purchase carbon offsets.
29. Buy local.
30. Buy in bulk.
31. Bring your own reusable shopping bag.
32. Turn trash into treasure: Get creative by using old items (such as broken gadgets, torn clothing, or plastic bottles) as art supplies.
33. Make a local green guide: Canvass local stores and businesses to find sources for green goods and then compile your research into an online community buying guide.
34. Give back.
35. Swap: clothes, toys, books, bikes, or even seeds with friends.
36. Buy organic.
37. Go meat-free, at least during the weekday.
38. Green your laundry.
39. Support renewable energy: If your local utility offers you a choice, select renewable energy or purchase green credits to offset your energy use.
40. Learn your labels (and learn how to spot greenwashing).
(adapted from

Monday, April 19, 2010

Happy Earth Day Week!

Earth Day is April 22 and there are many events going on this week to commemorate its 40th Anniversary. The first earth day in 1970 brought to light the deterioration of the environment through pollution, loss of wilderness, extravagant use of our natural resources, and extinction of wildlife. It aligned political groups from all walks of life and the United States Environmental Protection Agency was created. The passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species acts were also a product of the first earth day.

To celebrate, from April 17-25, entrance fees will be waived at all 392 National Parks. Events include a demonstration garden planting at Cane River Creole National Historic Park in Louisiana on April 22; greenhouse tours at Rocky Mountain National Park on April 22 of their greenhouse full of native plants destined for restoration throughout the park; an Earth Day Festival on April 24 at Bighorn Canyon with composting demos, recycling information and free trees handed out by the Arbor Day Committee; as well as other hikes, wildlife programs and heritage celebrations around the country. A number of parks have special events for kids scheduled for April 24, which is National Junior Ranger Day. Kids who participate in walks, litter pick-ups, and other activities can earn a junior ranger patch. Head over to for more information and head out to a National Park this week!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Green Spring

It is almost Spring and it is almost Earth Day! (April 22) If your spring plans include freshening up with new paint, check out Yolo. The colors are beautiful and they have no odor, no harmful chemicals, no added solvents, zero-VOC's and are mold-resistant.
And you can save green by going green and taking advantage of the GreenDepot's sale on Yolo Colorhouse® paints here.