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

August 2008

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Travel Green: Free Yourself From the Labor of Driving

August 29, 2008

This Labor Day weekend, literally walk the walk on going green, and keep the car at home or at least minimize its use. Here are some ideas:

--Walk, cycle, and yes, take transit (even the lowly bus) to local parks, historical sites, shopping, attractions, and to special events in your community. It is amazing how much more you see and experience, especially with your family, when you're freed from 'looking out for the other guy'.

--Consider taking the train, bus or ferry as a foot passenger (s) to out-of-town destinations that have attractions that are easy to get to on foot. 

Many 'commuter rail' networks and 'commuter buses' have excellent weekend service; there are often connecting local buses and/or taxi service to downtowns/activity centers.

Some of my favorite, and transit accessible communities with weekend commuter rail/bus are, in no particular order:

* Rockport, MA (Quaint fishing/artist village in northeast suburban Boston, MBTA commuter rail from North Station)

* Woods Hole, MA (Walkable village, home of the oceanographic institute, buses from Boston with ferries to Martha's Vineyard)

* Provincetown, MA (famed, loud, proud, historic, beach tourist and fishing town with direct summer ferry service from Boston, plus buses via Hyannis)

* Burlington, VT (Vermont's largest city, great downtown, train ride plus ferries across Lake Champlain, Amtrak and Greyhound from New York, Greyhound from Boston over the gorgeous I-89 north west of Concord, NH)

* Cold Spring, NY (Quaint community, onetime military arsenal town that lies across the Hudson from West Point, Metro North from Grand Central Terminal, New York City--the train ride alone is worth it)

* Watch Hill Beach, Fire Island, NY (Long Island Rail Road to Patchogue, ferry to Fire Island--inquire about beach packages--Watch Hill is the nicest and the quietest of the barrier beaches)

* Ocean Grove, NJ (NJ Transit commuter rail to Asbury Park, short cab ride or walk into town. Ocean Grove is a quaint, and dry, family community founded by the Methodist Church)

* Old Unionville, Ontario [near Toronto] (TTC subway to Finch then York Region Transit.

Another Great Reason To Truly (No Sprawl) Go Green: Your Health and Healthcare

August 29, 2008

"Just go out for a breath of air/And you'll be ready for Medicare"--Tom Lehrer

The Canadian Medical Association released a literally devastating report earlier this month titled: "No Breathing Room: National Illness Costs of Air Pollution" that bears out the brilliance, prescience, and unfortunate timelessness of Mr. Lehrer's musical satire.

The contents should make you gasp, think about saving energy, think again about locating in car-oriented 'greenfields' no matter 'green' the buildings are, ...and consider instead strategies like teleworking and situating offices and homes in higher-density, walkable, transit-accessible, and healthier truly green communities.

Among the key and very disturbing data:

SoundBite's Sensible 'Coupons On Demand'

August 18, 2008

SoundBite Communications has a 'greensmart' solution that saves trees, which convert CO2 to oxygen among other life-providing benefits, which is reminding consumers or businesses of coupons or other rewards they are entitled to by receiving the coupon or reminder through e-mail, text messages or an automated phone call. 

By simply showing the text message, the reward could be activated at their next purchase. If someone doesn't want the promotional offer, they simply delete it. It doesn't get any easier than that, and all while reducing the consumption of paper.

Those savings are significant. According to SoundBite's PR, one tree can make almost 17 reams of paper, with a significant portion of it ending up as direct mail or bills.

APC's new Data Center Carbon Calculator

August 11, 2008

 American Power Conversion has devised an excellent tool, the Data Center Carbon Calculator, to help you changes in data center efficiency on energy consumption and carbon output. This handy measurement is part of a series of Trade-Off Tools (TM) developed by APC to help organizations examine virtualization, efficiency, power sizing, capital costs, and other key design issues.

The Data Center Carbon Calculator gives you valuable information on energy costs, broken down even to the state level in the US though alas not to the state level in Australia or by province in Canada. It presents two scenarios that you can adjust that will give you differing results, and in local currencies. This provides you with a general indication of how "green" your data center is today and how "green" it could be.

The APC kit does need a little refinement, such as the aforementioned need to granulate to different subjurisdiction, plus the ability to easily trackback or jump to other countries. Even so, I highly recommend looking at it and at the other toolkits that APC offers.

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