Steve Andrews

passionate technologist · business applications · community guy

Sustainability

I was in a company meeting today at work, and one of our VPs spoke about her involvement in a corporate sustainability initiative. They are looking out to clients, partners and other resources to find ways to be more green, and not because green is the trend du jour. More and more individuals, communities, companies and governments are realizing the enormous detriment that pollution and waste are having on the environment.

My dad has always had a sustainability mentality. When my brothers and I were younger, he was always reminding us to not leave doors open, to turn off fans when we leave the room, to not turn the thermostat too high or too low, not leave the refrigerator door open, to only use three sheets of toilet paper, but I digress.

My dad was thinking this way 10, 15 maybe 20 years ago, when most people thought Global Warming must be a leftover 70s band.

Today, the younger generations seem to be getting it the best:

  • One hundred thousand Chinese students took part in various activities on March 27 as volunteers to promote environmental protection and ecological conservation throughout the country. - article
  • On April 14, the National Day of Climate Action, more than 1400 cities, towns and colleges across the nation rallied for Congress to enact a law to cut carbon emissions 80% by the year 2050. - link
  • Many well known pop culture icons have taken a stand, including Spinal Tap, Dave Matthews Band, Guster, KORN, Foo Fighters, Sheryl Crow, Al Gore, Salma Hayek, Leonardo DiCaprio, and many, many more.

Not quite green yet at your workplace? Here are some ideas:

  • Use less paper. I know, roll your eyes. But seriously:
    • Print on both sides of the page.
    • Don't print out things you can read on your screen.
  • Recycle.
  • Use those cool motion-sensitive light switches to turn off the lights when you're not there.
  • Replace existing lightbulbs with low-energy lightbulbs.
  • Take a train instead of a plane when the destination is only a couple hours away.

And for those of us in the technology sector:

  • Consolidate servers. Datacenters are one of the biggest drains on power.
  • Turn off your computer overnight and on weekends.
  • Use document management software, like SharePoint, to handle forms and documents. Integrate Windows Workflow or BizTalk if you need tracking, approval or other such features.

For more information, check out Step It Up 2007. Got ideas? Let me know.

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