Go Green Using the Internet

Over the past decade, many businesses and organizations have become more environmentally aware. As society becomes more cognizant of the effect it has on the environment, many consumers look for opportunities to protect the earth through their purchasing decisions.

The internet can be a great way to reduce one’s carbon footprint, reduce energy usage, and lower the use of fossil fuels. One breakthrough technology that is a catalyst for this is cloud computing, which offers remote processing of information so consumers can browse, game, watch videos, and more without the need of heavy equipment. All they need is connection to the internet. The following list shows ways that organizations and individuals can help go green using the internet.

Digitize Your Personal and Business Documents

  • Share instantly
  • Create backups easily
  • Utilize the cloud
  • Reduce Paper Use
  • Minimize carbon footprint

Many people like the safety and sense of security that comes with having a physical copy of a document. Digital documents have many advantages over traditional physical media. Digital documents can be emailed instantly to anyone in the world, and backups of entire media collections can be completed with ease. Cloud-based storage solutions can help protect consumers and businesses from catastrophic data loss. By digitizing documents, paper use can be reduced, and companies can avoid mailing paper copies. This can help reduce the global CO2 footprint by lowering postal mail volume.

Using the Cloud

  • Collaborate easily
  • Work in real time
  • Reduce mailing, shipping, and transportation

Many business documents, creative works, and other forms of media are the result of collaboration between many people. When multiple people are working on the same document, it can be challenging to keep track of an up to date version. The newest revision of a document or project was traditionally transported between many people, all incorporating a variety of unique edits and additions. Online collaboration allows many people to work in real time on a document, and helps reduce mailing and shipping costs. This has benefits for both people and the environment: users can see their collaborative work built in real time, and excessive transportation is reduced.

Using Webcams / Online Meeting Solutions

  • Cut down on travel
  • Utilize newer technologies
  • Reduce energy use

One of the most popular forms of airline transportation is business class. Many marketers, advertisers, and other business professionals traditionally required extensive travel to meet clients across the globe. Since the advent of high speed broadband, more business can be conducted online. Face to face meetings can be replaced with teleconferencing: many companies offer professional teleconferencing products, with high fidelity video and audio. Most internet service providers offer high bandwidth solutions, which can be used for teleconferencing.

Green Gaming with the Cloud

  • Faster Gaming
  • Less Hardware Needed
  • Less Waste

One new green technology comes from the gaming company Onlive. Traditional gaming consoles are on the market for about 5 years, and are then replaced by newer systems. Onlive changes the gaming paradigm by using cloud computing. Gamers purchase a small thin client device, about the size of a pack of cigarettes. This gaming device is hooked up to a TV and a fast internet connection, and allows users to play graphically intensive games in real time. All graphics processing takes place on cloud servers, with a live gaming stream transmitted over the internet to the user. Users get to experience gaming on the newest hardware, and the environment isn’t cluttered with soon-to-be obsolete hardware.

Green Internet Service Providers

  • Cleaner emissions

Many consumers and businesses are changing the way they’ve traditionally used computers. Modern internet service providers offer high bandwidth connections, which allow for a fundamental change in the way people interact with their PCs. Many modern-era internet service providers are utilizing green resources to power their equipment, offering a greener alternative for broadband consumers.

The Wonders of the Cloud

Cloud computing allows a user to ‘offload’ processing and data storage to a remote shared server. A computer user can buy a ‘thin client’ computer, which has limited computing power. This computer is always connected to the internet, and allows the user to interact directly with the cloud server. No files or data are stored on the local computer: all information, processing, and storage take place on remote servers.

Many computer systems manufacture creates a variety of hazardous byproducts. LCD screens contain mercury, arsenic, and other hazardous products. Many computers are thrown away after a product cycle, quickly creating landfills that are a biohazard.

Cloud computing allows for many people to use the shared computing resources. This reduces unnecessary hardware waste, and allows consumers to always have access to the fastest available computing resources. Many green internet service providers offer customized cloud computing services, allowing users access to cloud computing resources stored at the ISP itself. By keeping cloud computing resources at a local ISP node, lag time between a user’s thin client and the cloud server is reduced.

Blake Sanders writes tech at broadband comparison site Broadband Expert with a specialty in high speed internet, cell phones, and internet service providers.

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November 22, 2011 by: Prasanth Chandra

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