Green Search Engine

This morning the GreenTeam received a great email from a Softchoice employee about a search engine, Ecosia (http://ecosia.org/), that donates 80% of its income to saving the rainforest. Just like other search engines such as Google and Yahoo Ecosia makes money when you click their sponsered links.  However, by using them 80% of that money goes to helping the rainforest instead of the pocket of someone.

The front page of their website makes the claim of  “Each free web search saves about 2.4 yd²of rainforest. We have already protected 234,567,410 yd².”

Plus, since they are linked up with Yahoo and Bing you aren’t losing any searching functionality or missing any important results.  I have been using Ecosia for my searches this morning and so far I have been unable to tell a difference from my normal searching on Google.  Try it out.

Carsharing – I’m still loving it (sometimes)

So it’s 7:15 and I was standing in a parking lot in the rain. I had reserved a car for  seven o’clock to do my grocery shopping and the person who has rented the car before me is late. I’ll be honest, I was annoyed and my hair  was looking terrible. Sometimes “doing the right thing” can be inconvenient. It would be so much easier to have my own car so that I can hop in at a moment’s notice. But…I resist and  stick to my guns. Even though this isn’t fun it still makes me feel pretty good to be doing my proverbial part. The red Yaris I reserved pulled into the lot. The truant driver was kind of cute. Okay…this isn’t so bad.

 If you want to check out carsharing, there are locations all over US and Canada. You can read about it here: http://www.carsharing.net/

The Impact of “No Impact Man”

You’ve probably heard about him by now, seen him on TV, read his book or his blog – and just within the past year the movie about Colin Beaven’s ambitious experiment has been released. After having mostly heard about No Impact Man through my wife, we recently had a chance to view the film together and came to understand some challenges he faced beyond the self-imposed restrictions from modern-day living.

Sure, the year Colin, his wife and toddler daughter spent on a strict local diet, biking through the streets of NY and even at one point without electricity or a fridge WERE a huge challenge – but the real eye-opener was the backlash received from some friends, family and others that considered themselves to be environmentalist.

[Read more…]

4 steps to starting a green strategy

Many organizations don’t get going on a green strategy since it can be quite overwhelming. What does it mean to go green? Do I need to measure carbon emissions? How do I do that? Do I need a big budget to go green? Are we too small to go green? Getting caught up in trying to answer all the questions can be quite the big roadblock and discourage even the most passionate of us.

Don’t get caught up in the details. Just get going! Our planet needs our help right now, and even the smallest of steps are going to add up and make a difference. Once you have a few small wins, people will get inspired and it will snowball from there. You will soon realize that going green, means you are saving your company valuable resources. Then watch as your grass roots efforts gain the attention of the higher-ups looking for ways to cut costs and be more efficient. Green is not only great for the planet, but for business too.

Some easy first things to implement are: [Read more…]

Energy Reducing 101

Energy Reducing LogoEnvironmental

The average PC and monitor annually consume 600 kWh of energy, which results in 710 to 1330 lbs of carbon released into the atmosphere. The largest opportunity within this environmental impact is that approximately 20%-40% of PCs and monitors are left on all night. One report estimated that turning off every work computer in the United States every evening would save as much CO2 emissions as taking every car in the state of Maryland off the road.*

Financial

In business terms, the simple step of shutting computers down nightly can result in a per PC reduction of 200 kWh of annual energy use and savings of $15-$50 per device. This means that PC power management software will typically pay for itself in 6-8 months, and if it was deployed all across the US, the savings would add up to more than $1.72 billion dollars!*

*source: US PC Energy Report, IE, 2007