Green IT: An Exister’s Guide to an Eco-Friendly Workplace

Green IT: An Exister’s Guide to an Eco-Friendly Workplace

Green IT: An Exister’s Guide to an Eco-Friendly Workplace 150 150 infrastructure

“It is estimated the IT industry generates about 2% of the world’s CO2 emissions, equivalent to the entire airline industry. If we all change our habits slightly, the impact will be significant.” – Cyrus Patten, Mashable

Exist could use more green in its everyday life. Yes, Exist founders all graduated from the De La Salle University, home of the green archers. Yes, Ms. Ruth aka “Mother” has a fondness for collecting eco-bags. Yes, a number of us are into nature-tripping (mountaineering, surfing, landscape photography, etc.). And yes, some of us are supporters of worldwide organizations for the protection of the environment or local organizations concerned with the welfare of animals. But how many of us are “green-minded” right here in this office?

Here are 10 action items for you to ponder upon and hopefully apply soon after reading…

  • Unplug

If your laptop battery’s full already, unplug the travel adapter/charger. Also, once you disconnect the charger from your box, don’t leave it plugged in to the socket as it still consumes electricity. Same thing applies to your other electronic gadgets, office equipment and appliances.

Putting your box on sleep mode also conserves energy, along with turning off your Bluetooth and disconnecting your USB mouse and flash disk. Dimming your monitor helps too. Small things count. See more at http://www.wikihow.com/Go-Green-With-Computing and http://www.wikihow.com/Go-Green-at-Work.

  • Share

“Let cuteness educate you about endangerment.” – Matt Petronzio, Mashable

Did you know that the number of tigers in the wild is at an all-time low? Are you aware of the consequences should it continue to decline? You can ask Leonardo DiCaprio or simply go to www.SaveTigersNow.org.

Wanna hit local? Why don’t you save the Laguna pit bulls via CARA Welfare Philippines? Or volunteer at PAWS?

Use social media to support advocacies to save Mother Earth and its citizens including plants and animals. “Like” and “share” also energy saving tips which we will publish weekly.

Another option is to physically share resources. For example, when using the microwave, maybe you can share oven space with others heating their food. If you’re bringing plants to the office, maybe you can donate some to your neighbors. Etc.

  • Conserve

When printing, use scratch paper if applicable and select the fast draft/econo-mode as much as possible. This saves trees, time and toner. Plus, remember to print an email message only when necessary and cut it down to as few pages as possible.

When using toilet paper, don’t be excessive. Unless if you want the next person using the cubicle know what you were up to (because tissue usually floats right back).

Lastly, turn off the faucets, lights and aircon when not in use. Let’s save water and electricity. Like what WWF says, “let’s leave our children a living planet.”

  • Reuse

Washables (such as mugs and food keepers) are a better option than styropacks, plastic bottles/cups and paper plates which all contribute to our waste problem. Eco-bags are highly recommended too when you go out to buy stuff – or at least reuse the brown bags from the bread store or fast food for acquiring similar items.

Used folders, envelopes, etc. may still serve some other purpose so don’t be quick to throw them in the trash. I’m sure you could think of other items to reuse, too… (I recall how valuable boxes suddenly became last decor contest, hahaha.)

  • Recycle

Bottles, paper, wood, batteries… We know they can be recycled but has anyone ever tried donating them to a recycling center, or junk shop at least? For a comprehensive list of recycling facilities in the country, go to papemelroti.com/recycling_centers.htm.

Even malls have drop boxes for stuff you wanna get rid off, so maybe we could start now.

  • Install

There’s an app for that.” True enough, there’s always a desktop or mobile application that could help make our everyday lives more eco-savvy. Want to know your carbon footprint? Do it online. The United Nations also has a carbon calculator for the iPhone. For other types of green apps, click HERE.

  • Carpool

Share a ride. Less gas. Less pollution. Less expense. One less lonely you. 😉

And have you heard of Waze? It’s a fun, community-based GPS traffic and navigation app. It’s a very intelligent and useful app – but don’t take my word for it, try it: www.waze.com.

  • Plant

Or should I say, plants. Not only do they act as air filters (as per thedailygreen.com: aloe vera/ficus for formaldehyde; English ivy for benzene; spider plant for carbon monoxide, among others), they would also make our office livelier. For plant feed, used coffee grounds will do.

  • Create

Did you know that websites could be eco-friendly too? Large file transfers consume much more energy. While enabling printer-friendly features saves ink and paper. Here are 10 easy ways to green a site.

I’m also quite sure majority of the people here have Dropbox and Google Docs accounts. They make collaboration real-time, more effective, paperless, and given good internet connection, hassle-free.

  • Prepare

Admit it. The weather’s crazy. Bring slippers so you wouldn’t need to bring your Chucks to the laundry or have your mom wash your not-so-good-smelling footwear because they got soaked in the rain. Have your umbrella handy too, rain or shine, because UV rays are harsh!

Plan your tasks ahead to save on time and resources. Not sure if you’re doing OT? Bring extra clothes and some toiletries and keep them in your locker. That way, you would not need to travel back and forth early in the morning.

For hardcore tips and news on green living, check out National Geographic’s The Green Guide or follow them on Twitter: @NatGeoGreen. Got your own suggestion? Send it to us and we could feature it via email as one of our weekly Earth-saving measures. Thanks!

EPILOGUE

“It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely and well and justly, and it is impossible to live wisely and well and justly without living a pleasant life.” – Epicurus

Exist.

Plant. Prepare.

Install.

Carpool. Conserve. Create.

Unplug.

Recycle. ReUse.

Share.

I was thinking of a mnemonic for our “Green IT” program. What I found were letters of the name of an ancient Greek philosopher, Epicurus. So I decided to write an EPI-logue. *chuckles*

Epicurus said that pleasure is good and pain is bad. But this is different from hedonism – which is simply put, pursuit of pleasure of the senses – in that he stated we can only attain happiness if we live modestly, know how the world works and find limits to our desires. It’s quite far from self-gratification. For him, overindulgence = pain. It was actually surmised that Epicureans were most probably vegetarians (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epicureanism).

Although all pleasures are good and all pains evil, Epicurus says that not all pleasures are choiceworthy or all pains to be avoided. Instead, one should calculate what is in one’s long-term self-interest, and forgo what will bring pleasure in the short-term if doing so will ultimately lead to greater pleasure in the long-term.” – O’Keefe, Tim (2001). Epicurus. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. http://www.iep.utm.edu/epicur/

When it comes to the issue of environmental sustainability, it only makes sense that we preserve nature in order to have a healthier world to live in – for ourselves, our friends (as Epicurus had a high regard for friendships) and our bloodline.

Others have found a link between Epicurus and the environment too, should you wish further mind candy: http://beliefandenvironment.wordpress.com/.

Thanks and I hope we all become friends of Mother Earth…

Exist Manila

Exist Tree Planting

Exist Cebu