Going Green with Cloud Computing

Discover the environmental benefits of moving your company to the cloud.

The corporate carbon footprint has become a big deal for companies lately. That's why many organizations are moving their services onto the "cloud," a shared method to store mass data over the Internet, which not only saves time and money, it also cuts energy use. Without a doubt, the cloud is slowly transforming how corporate IT services are handled. Yet cloud-based computing boasts some environmental benefits.

Teaming up with outsourcing company Accenture and WSP Environmental & Energy, Microsoft conducted a study that compared the energy use and carbon footprint of cloud-based computing versus on-premise IT delivery. The research found that on the whole, cloud solutions reduced energy use and carbon emissions by more than 30 percent.

And the benefits stack up. For smaller deployments, or about 100 users, the upsides proved even more impressive: Energy use and emissions were slashed by more than 90 percent with a shared cloud service.

Boosting Energy Efficiency
For those of us who aren't technology buffs, how does that happen? Well, there are several key factors that contributed to the cloud's energy efficiency.

Unlike traditional computer hosting, the cloud is sold on demand, meaning a user can have as much or as little of the service as he or she needs at any given time; it is elastic. In turn, this cuts the amount of wasted computing resources through better matching of server capacity with actual demand.

Importantly, the cloud uses fewer machines. In many small businesses, server utilization rates stays around 5 to 10 percent. That translates to more servers to get the same amount of work done. Servers can be quite pricey to purchase and maintain, and with a low utilization rate, lots of cash may be spilling out of your company's wallet. With the cloud, utilization rates rise to as high as 70 percent. At the end of the day, fewer machines equals less energy used and fewer dollars spent.

The cloud encourages better data efficiency. Through improved cooling and power conditioning, the shared network diminishes the workload for companies, cutting power loss and downtime.

By taking advantage of the cloud, your company can cut emissions as well. Of course some cloud services are greener than others. If CEOs and leaders in business want to make save green while going green, it might be a wise idea to move applications to cloud services.

Ilchi Lee, a New York Times best-selling author and advocate of a sustainable world, encourages people and businesses to take all the progressive steps to create a greener planet. Cloud services not only make your company more energy efficient, it may boost your public image as well. While smaller organizations will reap bigger perks of the new-wave technology, all sizes of companies can benefit from lower machine costs and a shared infrastructure. Cloud computing has the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of many businesses, on top of providing cost savings.

DNV GV looks to cut emissions in shipping industry

The DNV GL, a leading technical advisor to the global oil and gas industry, pointed out that using biofuels and batteries on ships could be one way to encourage a more sustainable future. 

In a world where we often focus on carbon emissions from cars and fuel-gobbling airplanes, it can be easy to overlook what's going on in our water. However, new sustainability reports released by DNV GL, said that reducing ship and occupational fatalities, cutting emissions and using new technology to increase efficiency and keep freight costs low are the three most promising ways to achieve a safe and sustainable shipping industry by 2050.

DNV GL, a leading technical advisor to the global oil and gas industry and the world's largest ship and offshore classification society, released six sustainability reports titled "Managing Risk, Building Trust: An introduction to six themes for the future," this month. The report focuses on a safe and sustainable future, adaption to climate change and the future of shipping and electricity.

In the shipping-specific paper, DNV said that the shipping industry must reduce emissions by 60 percent, the same as other industries. The report noted that it's likely that stakeholders such as charterers, insurance companies, investors and banks will set stricter requirements for owners to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

One way to reach the goal is to power vessels with alternative fuels, such as biofuels, batteries and fuel cells. Notably, more than 20 percent of shipping could adopt hybrid propulsion featuring batteries or other energy storage technologies.

Ilchi Lee, dedicated advocate of peaceful and sustainable world, promotes that as consumers, we take our own steps to lower energy waste. By conversing water, avoiding throwing paints and oils down the drain and taking care not to overuse pesticides that lead to runoffs into nearby water sources, citizens of the world can do our part. Lee wholeheartedly supports the need to reduce our carbon footprint while traveling on the roads, in the sky and at sea.

5 Methods to Cut Down on Energy Use

Discover the best tricks to reduce your carbon footprint.

In the last decade, there has been an increased push for people to reduce their carbon footprints. However, many of us who want to help simply don't know how. Ilchi Lee, a dedicated advocate of a sustainable world, has a number of written books describing how the fates of humans and Earth are intertwined. Although these books may not be considered environmental activist literature, they provide the reader with a sense of the importance respecting Mother Earth. So, without further ado, here are the five best ways to lower your energy waste on a day-to-day basis:

Watch Your Shower Time
Water is the most in-demand resource of the 21st century. Rather than letting the shower steam up the bathroom before easing your way in, hop in as soon as the water warms. Don't spend too much time dawdling in the shower either. Monitoring how long you bathe can not only save on water bills, but also on water energy.

Carpool, Bike or Take Public Transit
Many of us drive our own cars to work every day. Instead, ask a friend or colleague to share a ride together. You might even be thankful for the than the car-ride banter. If you live close enough, map out a bike route to your office. During warm weather months, this is a perfect way to combine exercise with eco-friendliness. Or, opt for the train or bus to make your commute environmentally responsible, if possible. As a society, we have become overly dependent on ours cars. Think of new ways to cut back.

Buy Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
Though almost 70 percent of light bulb sockets in the U.S. still contain inefficient light bulbs, regular bulbs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Purchase energy efficient bulbs – it will save you money in the long run! In fact, according to Energy Star, by replacing 20 million traditional bulbs with energy efficient ones, Americans would save more than $118 million in energy costs each year and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to that of 150,000 vehicles annually. For each person, that means around cutting your light bill anywhere from $66 to $264.

Quit Overheating or Supercooling Your House
There's no need to keep your house at a balmy 72 degrees when you're not there. Turn down the thermostat before going to work and bed. Besides, most people prefer to sleep in cooler environments rather than hot ones. You'll notice a big improvement in your utility bill as well as energy savings. You can even install a smart thermostat that switches off automatically when you are out of the house.

Lee reinforces these points by sharing how important it is to consider ourselves a citizen of the Earth, putting limited natural resources before our own ego and self-serving priorities.

10 Clever Ways to Recycle

Between composting and purchasing products made from recycled materials at the market, you can make a difference. 

Recycling is a essential way to conserve natural resources and contribute toward improving the environment. But there are plenty of ways to be environmentally responsible that go beyond putting used in the recycling bin. As an advocate of a sustainable planet, Ilchi Lee points out that considering what products you purchase at the supermarket and new methods of recycling are great ways for going green. 

  1. Buy products that can be recycled. When cruising through the aisles of the supermarket, look for items that can be easily recycled, such as glass jars and tin cans.
  2. Purchase products made from recycled materials. You can tell if a product has been recycled by the label on the packaging.
  3. Find out how to dispose of your batteries in your community. Because they contain highly toxic chemicals, batteries cannot be tossed in the regular recycling bin. For this same reason, most batteries shouldn't be thrown into the trash either. Many products contain heavy metals such as mercury and lead that could contaminate our drinking water if left to deteriorate in a landfill. Contact energy experts in your municipality to figure out the best way to get rid of your batteries.
  4. Return computer and cell phone batteries to the manufacturer for proper disposal.
  5. Avoid buying hazardous materials. According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, hazardous waste includes chemicals, heavy metals as well as discarded household products such as paint thinners and cleaning fluids.
  6. If your work or school does not already recycle, lead the charge! First, find a recycling service provider in your local area and get a list of companies with services that suit your needs. Then, consider hosting a recycling day or event to launch the new recycling program. For instance, you could hold a desk recycling event to encourage staff to recycle as much as they can from their desks.
  7. Plant trees and flowers in your garden, which helps to fight climate change.
  8. Start composting, which is a process where organic material decays and is used as a plant fertilizer. It's a great option for leftover food, including meats, fruits and vegetables.
  9. Try grass cycling. Instead of throwing away your grass cuttings, simply leave them on the ground. These will turn into nutrients that serve as a fertilizer in the soil.
  10. Try out cash for cans – it pays to recycle! The easiest items to cash in are those made from aluminum, such as beverage cans, tins and foil. Most buy-back centers accept aluminum and pay around $0.50 per pound.

‘Greenest’ and ‘Meanest’ Cars of 2014

Discover the most environmentally-friendly and gas-guzzling vehicles of the new year.

These days, "going green" is more of a tagline than an action plan. To put your money where your mouth is, you can take a look at one of the biggest personal factors that directly affects the environment: the car you drive. 

Car pollution is one of the leading threats to a green environment. More than 1 billion people worldwide drive cars, which contributes to fuel emissions and air pollution. Besides utilizing public transportation, we can direct our focus on more fuel-efficient vehicles that get us to our destination with a much smaller carbon tire print. 

The "greenest" and "meanest" cars of 2014 were announced this month by GreenerCars.org. At No. 1, Mercedes-Benz Smart Electric Drive Convertible was ranked the most environmentally friendly. This car is fully electric, emissions-free that offers a battery rental program, making it the most affordable electric car in the U.S. It also has a government 4-star safety rating.

The second cleanest car is the Toyota Prius C, which features the Hybrid Synergy Drive. This is combination of gasoline and electric engines, either working independently or simultaneously, which ever is the most efficient way possible. These wheels crank out a whopping 53 miles per gallon – talk about cutting down on gas money!

On the other hand, the dirtiest, or most fuel-guzzling, cars and trucks were also released. The Ram 2500 (Class 2B) came in dead last, or first, depending on how you look at it. In the city, this truck has 13 miles per gallon. The Bugatti Veyron, a mid-sized sports car, fell in second place, ranking the lowest of all vehicles for MPG in the city with a total of 8. 

Encouraging a sustainable word is one of Ilchi Lee's main principles. Lee, an advocate for greener technology, points out the perks of more fuel-efficient cars – money-saver, environmentally responsible and ahead of the curve. 

4 Things You May Not Know About Recycling

Find out what you can do to stop saying you’re going green, and start doing it.

It's no surprise that recycling is good for the environment. Yet, many of us don't do it. According to DoSomething.org, more than 75 percent of waste is recyclable, but we only recycle about 30 percent of it. We all say we want to hand down a cleaner planet to our children, the generation that will inherit our struggles and successes, but ask yourself: What am I doing to help?

Recycling is one of the most effective ways to benefit the environment. Whether it's at work or home, we should get in the habit of throwing glass, aluminum, steel (known as tin cans), paper and plastics in the green bin. Check out some of these fascinating facts:

1. Recycling creates millions of green jobs, even in your community. As a matter of fact, in 2010, green goods and services amounted to 3.1 million jobs in the U.S., according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most people don't realize it, but cardboard is a valuable commodity. After you go grocery shopping, reuse that bag!

2. Recycling one soda can save enough energy to power a television for two hours. Sip and recycle!

3. About 4 percent of the total energy consumption in the U.S. is used in the production of all plastic products. We can cut down on this energy waste by recycling plastic products after their useful lives has ended.

4. Manufacturing recycled paper uses 60 percent of the energy need to create paper from trees, according to the Benefits of Recycling. 

As a dedicated advocate of a peaceful and sustainable world, Ilchi Lee strongly believes that we should take steps to truly go green. Today is the time to plan for the world of tomorrow.

Talking about Sex with Your Children

Being a role model of enlightened sexuality is all the more critical for our children’s learning. In sexuality, as with all life experience, we must be the change we wish to see in the world.

Through these discussions, we will be able to develop a basis of trust with our children, leading to better communication. When we can speak about sex with our children, we will find that it frees our ability to talk about other topics. These conversations will assure our children that they are being respected, which will lead them to develop self-worth, responsibility, and maturity. Through these sincere, honest discussions, you may even change your own preconceptions.

Read more quotes by Ilchi Lee.  Below is an observation of a contributor to this blog: David Lawston.

Sex and sexuality are extremely controversial issues in American culture and although attitudes toward sex remain ambivalent, there have been massive changes in American sexual behavior over the past 50 years, including the spread of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. Sex-related social problems can be classified in three categories. Gagnon and Simon’s classification scheme for sex-related social problems is like this:

  1. Tolerated sex variance:
    Heterosexual oral sex, masturbation, and premarital intercourse
  2. Asocial sex variance:
    Incest, child molestation, coercive adult sex, rape, exhibitionism, and voyeurism
  3. Structured sex variance:
    Homosexuality, prostitution, and pornography

Peace

“It is now time to acknowledge the ultimate and core value that is capable of encompassing and superceding the partial and prejudicial orientation of the current value systems of the world. It is the one that can become a fulcrum point that will allow balance, harmony, and peaceful coexistence of all people. This is the Earth. The Earth cannot be claimed by any one group or organization regardless of its size or power. If humanity can be said to share one collective vision, it would be peace on Earth. This collective vision may also be our hope for survival in the very near future. To realize that we are all Earth-Humans…this is the key.”

Health

“My sincerest wish is to provide tools which aid in the recovery of education, relationships, and harmony between humanity and nature. We carry a deep wish to create a healthier, happier, and more peaceful society. I believe in the power of this wish. I believe that the people who nurture this wish by the choices and actions that stem from their courageous insights make history. The most valuable legacy that we can pass on to future generations is the recovery of our humanity so that they can experience a deeper and more meaningful existence.”

Family

“The most precious gift we can give our children is to let questions of the purpose of their existence grow naturally in them, and respond to their questions with the wisdom we have gained from our life experiences. Of course, our answer doesn’t automatically become theirs. They will each find their own path in life. It may be vastly different from ours, or it could be one that is an extension of our experience. In either case, having a sincere exchange about our passion and life purpose gives our children confidence. Their trust and respect for us will grow.”