Being Green – How you can help the environment

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First and foremost, let me disclose: I am not an environmental activist. I don’t believe in protesting the use of non-renewable resources, or the development of accessing those resources. There is a huge economic impact to natural resources, and it provides many jobs and helps support many families. That said, I have ALWAYS made the statement that I believe we will become a ‘greener’ society by way of technology. For an easy example, just look at Tesla Motors. They manufacture a vehicle that drives on battery power alone, and is faster and more elegant than most of its gasoline-consuming counterparts. The same is happening in the IT world, from low-power desktops to virtualization.

My company sells and deploys low-power desktop workstations. Let’s be honest here, most desktops in the average office use only a handful of applications. Word processing. Spreadsheets. E-mail. Accounting software. Internet browsers. These aren’t resource intensive applications, and they don’t require high powered systems to run them. Why then, do we see desktops with 650 watt or 750 watt power supplies ? What’s the need for this ?

Servers also have a dramatic impact on the environment. In a different post here on Geek Brain Dump, I talked about a new client we brought on that had 5 physical servers running in their office (for a 4 workstation office, but that’s beside the point). These 5 servers were running very minimal services each, and could easily have been consolidated onto one single hardware platform. This, at least, would have saved 4 physical servers from being recycled (or taken to the dump), because they wouldn’t have been purchased to begin with.

We started deploying low-power solutions a number of years ago. Our average desktop idles at 21 watts. The environmental impact here is huge. Since January 1, 2013, our company alone has deployed solutions that have saved over 170,000.00 lbs of CO2 emissions. That’s the equivalent of 83,113.00 lbs of coal burned. This may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but think about it, we’re just ONE single IT company. Imagine if even as little as 10% of IT support providers made the commitment to use low-energy solutions. As I stated before, technology will ultimately be the reason we can move off non-renewable resources, and we as technology professionals need to help guide the way.

Author

Martin Lehner

Martin Lehner is an technology professional working for an IT services firm in Whitehorse, Yukon (Canada). He has been working in the technology field for over a decade. With a degree in Business Admin and numerous industry certifications, Martin leads a team of IT professionals that provide third party support for clients. Originally starting a company to offer web development services, Martin quickly realized that clients wanted the entire spectrum of technology services. When Martin is not at work (which is not often, since his company offers 24/7 support), he is busy at home spending time with his family.

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