Greg Galitzine : Green Blog
Greg Galitzine
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August 2010

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Canadian Newspaper Has It Right: To Go Green Cut Down On Packaging

August 30, 2010

Canada is a big source of American packaging material, and that includes newsprint. 

So applause should be offered to a recent editorial in the Peace Arch News, a newspaper which is distributed in the Metro Vancouver communities of South Surrey and the city of White Rock, British Columbia, Canada that face the U.S. border which called for manufacturers and retailers to cut down on the waste.

Here are some excerpts from the piece: 

"The sheer amount of packaging we deal with every day is staggering. According to the U.S.-based Dogwood Alliance, 25 per cent of the 2.4 million hectares of trees cut down every year in the southeastern United States ends up wrapping and boxing consumer goods."

"The computer age, which was supposed to diminish our need for paper, has only made things worse."

"The little plastic cartridges for inkjet printers, for instance, are notoriously over-packaged, contained in complicated boxes, attached to cardboard or plastic trays, wrapped in sticky plastic and accompanied by a series of instruction pamphlets and promotional paperwork."

The problem, says the editorial "is compounded if you happened to order that inkjet cartridge from an online retailer; chances are it was shipped in a cardboard box five or six times larger than the already voluminous box encasing the little plastic cartridge, and then further protected by crumpled paper, bubblewrap or styrofoam peanuts."

 "Responsible, environmentally-conscious consumers can only do so much to keep all these boxes, containers, trays and whatnot from filling landfills."

For Metro Vancouver and environs like nearly every city is facing a waste management problem.

Power IT Down This Friday!

August 26, 2010

Friday August 27 is "Power IT Down" day. Organizers say "just by turning off your computer, monitor and printer -- and any other peripherals -- when you leave work for the day, you can help save tens of thousands of costly kilowatt hours."

(There are also the knock-on benefits of reducing dangerous emissions, slowing down climate change and minimizing havoc-causing brownouts and blackouts.)

"Think saving a few kilowatt hours won't make a big difference?" says the web site. "To demonstrate the benefits of Power IT Down Day and how energy savings can be put to good use, its sponsors will make a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project. Last year, we donated $45,000!"

The Wounded Warrior Project's mission is, says that site to "raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women, help severely injured service members aid and assist each other, and provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of severely injured service members."
CDW's 2009 Energy Efficient IT Report backs up the benefits of such efforts as Power IT Down day. It found that organizations working to reduce energy consumption are realizing tangible results:

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