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


Only 1 in 5 Recycle e-Waste Properly

December 28, 2007

The Daily Green is reporting that a scant 1 in 5 of us recycle old electronics.   Disappointing.   With many consumers upgrading to newer versions of their gear this holiday season, replacing existing gadgets such as TVs, monitors, cell phones, video game consoles, etc… it’s troubling to think that only 21% of that e-waste is destined for proper disposal.   The article directs consumers to a variety of sources to help with recycling their used electronics, notably E-cycling Central, a national database maintained by industry of local recycling opportunities, and, which lists additional options.

Investments in Green Tech Exceed $5 Billion for 2007

January 23, 2008

The business world took “being green” seriously during 2007, not only by espousing environmentally friendly practices, but also by putting their money where there mouths are. Reuters reported that investments in green technology by businesses increased 44 percent (the same percentage increase as in 2006), to more than $5 billion, last year.   That number comes from Cleantech Group LLC, an organization whose members include venture capital firms, investment banks and other investors, Reuters said. The group also noted that venture investments in alternative energy during 2007 (for both North America and Europe) was $5.18 billion, up from $3.6 billion the year before.   Reuters listed – green market segments in order according to how much investment each received: energy generation, energy storage, energy efficiency, recycling & waste.

Tandberg Data Offers Recycling Rebate Program

April 16, 2008

Tandberg Data has announced a new program called Rebates for Recycling, a “green” initiative that helps IT managers save money as they help save the planet by reducing energy consumption.   Called Rebates for Recycling, the program provides incentives from $50 to $600 for those who sign up to recycle old, inefficient tape storage devices and replace them with new, high-efficiency tape storage products.   The offer is valid through June 30, 2008 and offers a variety of green discounts, starting with $150 toward the purchase of any Tandberg Data StorageLoader and $300 toward the purchase of any Tandberg Data tape library.   Existing customers of select Tandberg Data or Exabyte legacy products are getting a bigger incentive to purchase new energy efficient solutions with twice the discount: up to $600 on any Tandberg Data tape library.  

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.

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: 

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.

The Next Steps In Cellphone (and Electronics) Recycling: Redesign, Refocus on Software

January 22, 2009

Cellphone recycling is beginning to take off and that's great news for the environment and ultimately for all of us.

The latest such move is Recycle My Cell, a new Web-based nationwide initiative launched by Canada's wireless industry that lets users find out where and how to properly dispose of their cell phones and other wireless devices - regardless of carrier, brand, or condition. 

The free program in the country that brought us the BlackBerry incorporates numerous existing cell phone recycling initiatives is being organized by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) in conjunction with cell phone service providers, handset manufacturers, and recycling companies.

Recycle My Cell can be adopted by provinces and municipalities as part of their initiatives to manage e-waste. Nova Scotia, on Canada's east coast, is the first province to have done so.

Canadian retailers are already on board with cellphone recycling.

Now If Only Lexmark Made More Of Its Cartridges Refill-Friendly...

April 24, 2009

You would never hear a car maker say 'drive less' or a cookware firm recommend eating raw food to save the planet. Nor would one expect a printer manufacturer suggest that its customers print less or don't buy their goods if they don't need to.

Yet that is what Lexmark, in a remarkable display of corporate responsibility has done in via research and advice, reported on TMCnet.

Among its suggestions are:

Cash For Comm Clunkers A Truly Green Solution

August 26, 2009

Kudos to companies such as Grandstream, MegaPath, and Netsuite for offering and to Rich Tehrani in his blog for raising and promoting what will turn out to be a much more effective 'cash for clunkers' campaign: turning in old legacy PSTN/TDM equipment and obsolete premises-based solutions for IP and where appropriate hosted tools and recycling them to avoid e-waste. 

The cash for clunkers in the comm industry will arguably be more effective in that this one doesn't involve governments, subsidies, and kowtowing to special interests. The Sierra Club has criticized what had started out to be a well-intentioned program into 'support for gas guzzlers'. Money allocated for this program has arguably come at the expense of more efficient mass transit. While there has been stimulus money to build new systems, agencies are being starved to buy vehicles and operating funds to provide services. 

In contrast going to software-based IP and hosted means less goods that have to be manufactured from raw resources that must be extracted and processed, and lowered transportation costs and the consequent environmental consequences at all stages.

E-Cycling Nortel Gear

October 2, 2009

Jeff Wiener's excellent The contains a prescient entry discussing and a pic showing old Nortel phones going into an Avaya box. Prescient in that Avaya is awaiting word from the Canadian government whether it can complete its $915 million purchase of Nortel's enterprise division.

Jeff, who writes TMC's The Canadan Angle blog explains that Avaya gives his firm Digitcom, which is based in Toronto, Ontario "some amazing credits for the old Nortel hardware. We pack it up, call Fedex, and say good-bye to our old faithful friend who finds its way to an e-waste processing plant."

Avaya, and other manufacturers, should get ready to expect to receive more Nortel e-waste now that once-vaunted communications equipment maker is being dismembered at the same time more firms are switching to VoIP, softphones, hosted platforms, and smartphones. 

While Avaya will if it is successful continue to support the Nortel lines, and the sets that are out there are for the most part rugged and well made the writing is on the wall for them. 

After all, what is a better time and reason than now to buy or get the budget approval to switch to that new IP phone that you've always wanted? While the economy is still slack, the prices are reasonable, and the sellers are hungry?

The interesting question from an environmental perspective is how much new junk will be produced per employee with these new technologies compared with the old ones.

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