Greg Galitzine : Green Blog
Greg Galitzine
| Helping environmentally-conscientious business leaders choose environmentally-friendly solutions.

July 2008

You are browsing the archive for July 2008.

To go green, avoid greenfields for offices and homes

July 28, 2008

There have been a lot of articles lately about green buildings and homes. So when I find out about the ones located in 'office parks' and low-density subdivisions on what had just been open space i.e. 'greenfield development' I just shake my head.

A 'green' building surrounded by a huge car-packed parking lot and a 'green house' on a cul-de-sac with a couple of SUVs in the driveway are the environmental equivalent of the fitness fanatic who jogs to the store to buy a pack of cigarettes.

To Go Green, Go Dumb (as in computing)

July 21, 2008

The smartest computing solution environment-wise for organizations is to go dumb, as in dumb terminals.  

Richard 'Zippy' Grigonis, executive editor, Internet Telephony reports that network computing either with purpose-built thin-client systems or even 'lobotomized' PCs connected to a network server use less power than 'intelligent' PCs. 

Let's look at the numbers. Assuming flat panel LCD monitors (FPMs) at each workstation, and 300 watts (W) for a router, hubs, and firewall appliances for all scenarios: 

'Smart System' --120W for typical PC  

'Dumb' Systems: --100W for dumb PC 

Or --43.5W (40W alone for the FPMs) for fanless thin-client dumb terminals 

Plus 1000 W for fat server, off two load-sharing power supplies, to support dumb PCs and terminals 

Based on this it only takes 9 to 10 dumb units: thin-clients or dumb PCs connected to a fat server to equal the power consumption of 11 smart PCs. Beyond that you are 'green computing'. 

There are also other advantages of going dumb. These are lower IT support costs and improved security because employees cannot knowingly or unknowingly load sniffer software or 'bot' the system or download and walk off with data. Theft risk is less because who wants a computer that is 'stupid'? 

There are thin-client computers such as by , but by no means exclusive to Devon IT, Netvoyager, and Sun: 

Telework: the ultimate green commute

July 14, 2008

The greenest, fastest, and safest commute, one that requires the lowest investment from your pocket and from your tax dollars (compared with mass transit and HOV lanes) is from wherever you are in your home to your home office. The same goes for your employees.

Facet/Teletrips reports that each person teleworked or telecommuted just 1 to 2 days per week then each year they would save 100 - 200 gallons of fuel and 1.5 to 5 metric tonnes of CO2 / employee / year (equates to 7.5 percent -25 percent of an individual's annual carbon footprint). 

Teleworking is like giving your staff a pay raise and a cut in hours for free. Facet/Teletrips reports that it saves them each $2,000 - $10,000 in after tax dollars and frees up 160 hours of their time from commuting every year.

Your organization also benefits from teleworking as it can gain $2,000 - $10,000 real estate and other cost savings / employee / year, and greater staff retention and recruiting.

The rising gas prices are already reportedly making organizations think about teleworking. Employees, especially lower-paid ones like contact center agents are less willing to travel the same distances to work because they have to pay more out of their pockets.

Telework is also a proven disaster response strategy by distributing the workforce that makes operations less vulnerable to threats and 'events'. Telework ties into the Internet, which was conceived of and created by the US government to withstand and respond to an enemy attack by distributing computers over a network. 

And on 9-11-01 both telework and the Internet delivered.

Getting rid of the EW! (E-Waste)

July 11, 2008

Today is garbage and recycling day in my neighborhood. As I sort out the plastics, paper, and metals from the blue bin under our kitchen sink I am reminded why producer/seller-pay e-waste recycling programs like that just announced by the Province of Ontario can and will work: by assigning costs to waste. 

My community charges for trash pickup. You have to buy garbage tickets. The way to minimize the number of tickets you need to purchase is by recycling.

If you pollute, you should pay

July 9, 2008

The carbon tax brought in by the Canadian province of British Columbia that came into effect on Canada Day, July 1, and which is being advocated at the federal level by the Liberal Party of Canada led by former environment minister Stephane Dion, recognizes if you want people, and organizations, to curb their pollution then they should pay for polluting. If they, and we, want to pay less then they, and we can pollute less. It's that simple. 

The hard fact is that pollution costs all of us. The environment is not a "free lunch".

For example, a study by the Ontario Medical Association, The Illness Cost of Air Pollution, estimates that in the province of Ontario in 2005 "overall economic losses associated with air pollution exposure are expected to be in the order of $7.8 billion. This total is expected to increase to over $12.9 billion by 2026."

Such losses are borne by all taxpayers.

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