We talk a lot about Facebook lately, implementing video ads and other bizarre new features, but this time around we're going to talk about potatoes. While other companies are implementing more widely-accepted strategies to stay green, Facebook has toyed with using potatoes in its servers to keep things cool.
Cloud computing’s all the rage these days. We’ve all heard the normal spiel about its benefits; cloud services let you reduce your reliance on on-site admins, cloud services let you access data from anywhere, blah blah blah. But did you know that tapping into the cloud for your email services can be up to 80 times more efficient than hosting servers in-house? We didn’t either, until we got our grubby little paws on a new Google report that claimed just that.
Ubisoft may or may not be an enemy to PC gamers, but the publisher’s definitely a friend to the environment. Beginning with the PC release of Splinter Cell Conviction, Ubisoft’s set to roll out its 100 percent-recycled polypropylene “ecoTech” DVD cases, which are apparently the “most environmentally friendly” cases in the entire entertainment industry.
In addition, Ubisoft plans to bring its console releases up to speed with their PC counterparts, which have in turn recently caught up to almost every gamer everywhere by ditching paper instruction manuals. Seriously, do you ever read those things? We sure don’t.
The publisher notes that – before its switch to digital manuals – “one ton of paper used in Ubisoft’s game manuals consumed an average of two tons of wood from 13 trees, with a net energy of 28 million BTU’s (equivalent to average heating and energy for one home/year), greenhouse gases equivalent of over 6,000 lbs of CO2, and wastewater of almost 15,000 gallons.”
Yeesh. Sorry about that one, Mother Nature. The gaming industry didn’t mean anything by it. Honest! As for all the rampant virtual deforestation we caused in Far Cry 2, though, we really don’t have any excuse for that. Then again, the day we come across a game where it’s a crime to play lumberjack with a tree or two but a-okay to shoot people in the face is probably the day we’ll trade-in our rigs and take up a new hobby. Just sayin’.
AMD’s logo isn’t the only green thing around their offices. For the eighth year in a row the chip maker has announced an Annual Global Climate Protection Plan to keep with their current trends of cutting down on their greenhouse gas emissions, and improving their manufacturing process.
AMD’s been keeping good on their promises too. They’ve been able to exceed their commitments from 2002-2007 by reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent and their normalized energy consumption by 30 percent. Not bad!
They’re even looking to report on their “Scope 3” gas emissions. Scope 3 emissions are any and all emissions that are associated with supply chain, product distribution and employee business travel. How they’re planning to do so isn’t detailed, but so far they’ve done a top-notch job, so there’s little doubt that they’ll have any issues with this.
According to Dirk Meyer, president and chief executive officer of AMD, “By continuing to expand and share AMD’s climate change strategy and performance metrics with the general public, governments, suppliers, industry groups, and the scientific community, AMD is enabling others to benefit from our experiences as we learn from theirs. Transparency and collaborative innovation are hallmarks of AMD’s approach to global climate protection, and represent a fusion of our efforts married to the industry’s best practices, such as supply chain accountability.”
Going green is something that just about everyone is worrying about these days, and NETGEAR is no exception. Having recently announced a new line of Wireless-N routers with the Prius driving consumer in mind, they’ve finally thrown their hat into the eco-friendly ring.
NETGEAR’s new routers will be shipping in packaging that has been made from at least 80% recycled materials, as well as boasting a fancy new on/off switch that will allow users to save energy when the network isn’t in use. There’s also a separate on/off switch that will allow users to turn off only the router’s wireless component.
The inside of the routers will be getting quite a makeover as well, "The enhanced wireless speeds and greater coverage provided by Wireless-N technology enables the simultaneous use of applications such as voice-over-IP, video and multimedia streaming, console gaming, and Web surfing. The launch of these new Wireless-N networking solutions makes it easier and more affordable for consumers to replace their existing routers or modem routers and upgrade their WiFi networks to support these more bandwidth-intensive applications. The new product family is feature-rich in terms of performance capabilities and ease of use as well as energy-efficiency,” says Som Pal Choudhury, NETGEAR’s senior product line manager for advanced wireless products. And when he says affordable, he means it. These bad boys will run you only $89 for the router, and $119 for the router with a built in DSL modem.
Whether you’re turning off the water while you’re shaving or driving a fancy new biodiesel fueled car, going green is something that just about everyone has on their mind. But if you’re using a computer (which I’m going to assume you are) you’ve got one more thing to add to your “going green” check list.
Where your PC winds up at the end of its life is something that’s come under heavy scrutiny lately. An estimated 1.8 billion pounds of PCs are disposed of every year, and only half of that (about 865 million pounds) are processed by recyclers, according to a report by International Data Corporation. While some of the nearly 900 million pounds of unrecycled computers are reused, for the most part they’re thrown in a landfill or incinerated.
A huge reason for this is because IT organizations are failing to accept responsibility for the end-of-life destination of the PCs that they purchase. While computer vendors such as Dell, Hewlett Packard, Lenovo, Apple, Sony, Toshiba and IBM all offer take back programs for computers, most organizations donate their PCs, which simply shifts the responsibility to religious institutions or school districts.
So what can you do to help? Mostly keep your eyes open when you’re buying a machine. Check out if the computer that you’re purchasing has a good life cycle, and if the company that you’re buying from has a take back program (and be sure to use that program when the time comes to get rid of that computer).