November 23, 2011

Green Revolution 2.0 - Green IT

I think, we need one more green revolution, and in current scenario, I would call it as Green Revolution 2.0. This green revolution is not for the renovation of agricultural practices (like old green revolution), but this is to help build environment GREEN to save the only planet where we can breathe, i.e., the Earth.

Everyone talks about the words like Green, Go Green, Think Green, etc. etc…. but what that means? What green means?

The Green initiative means making eco-friendly sustainable environment.  If we are talking about Green IT (Information technology) then it means to make an eco-friendly and sustainable IT.  Eco-friendly IT means an IT which is less harmful for us and environment, and making a sustainable IT which reduces the e-waste. About Green IT, Wikipedia says – “It is the study and practice of designing, manufacturing, using, and disposing of computers, servers, and associated subsystems—such as monitors, printers, storage devices, and networking and communications systems—efficiently and effectively with minimal or no impact on the environment.”  So I must say Green IT is as much about us rather than just a technology. Green IT is also called Green Computing.

There are a lot ways to support Green IT (Green Computing), i.e., to bring Green Revolution 2.0 in IT; I am discussing several of them-

Desktop and laptop computers are the base for IT; however they consume lot electric energy, that’s why power management of personal computer (PC) is the best way to save electricity. Power management includes, switching off monitor when it is idle, putting PC in stand by or hibernate mode if you are taking break from your work, reducing brightness of monitor. A properly power managed PC saves enough energy to power a 75W light bulb continuously for over a year. You can purchase the products which supports Green, processor which supports undervolting to reduce the electric energy. Software like Granola can be use as power management software.

We should adopt the paperless work strategy. This means we must use digital documentation format like e-documents. E-documents includes e-mail, e-bill, e-cash etc etc. Try to make more and more e-documents because if we reduce paper printing, it will save printer papers, electricity, and ink of printer.
Waste management is one the major part of administration and e-waste management is very difficult to manage because e-waste is not properly recycled. If we think computer’s e-waste, then only 50% of computer parts can be recycled. Most of the e-waste is dumped at sea, disassembled by hand, or burned in an open air. These disposal methods are very dangerous for human and environment.  26 US States that have established state-wide recycling programs for obsolete computers and consumer electronics equipment. I came across the shocking statement on ‘Wikipedia’ about e-waste disposal – “computers gathered through recycling drives are shipped to developing countries where environmental standards are less strict than in North America and Europe. The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition estimates that 80% of the post-consumer e-waste collected for recycling is shipped abroad to countries such as ChinaIndia, and Pakistan.”  MoEF should take concrete steps against this. We can purchase such hardware which serves us for long time or we can use our existing hardware as long as we can. This will reduce e-waste and its adverse effects on environment and us. If you want to buy new hardware then buy green labeled or energy star rated products with long term goal. Samsung has taken initiative about collecting and proper recycling the e-waste.

Nowadays, telecommute is one of the blooming concept to make greener IT. Telecommute is the way in which we can work at home rather than going in the office. This reduces greenhouse gas emission related to travel, reduces an overhead cost for office space, lighting, air conditioning, etc.  Use the next generation technology like WiMAX and Voice over IP (VoIP) to support green initiative. WiMAX is a long distance wireless network which reduces the wiring infrastructure. VoIP is the web based telephone which reduces the telephony wiring infrastructure by sharing the existing Ethernet copper wire.

Leading organizations can invest in alternate energy sources like - solar, wind, hydro power, which will balance their carbon secretion and can save the electrical energy. E.g. Google Inc. is using solar energy

Next generation computers like chemical computer and DNA computer will play vital role in the green revolution 2.0. In near future, computers can replace the silicon based chip to chemical or biological (DNA) chips for better performance. This will also reduce power consumption and toxic material produced from e-waste.

Datacenters is the need of the today’s IT world however they produce 0.3% of the world's CO2 emissions. The effectiveness of algorithms has an impact on the amount of computer resources required for any given computing function. This is dependent on designing an efficient algorithm. Well-designed algorithms can be used to route data to data centers. The efficient algorithm can save up to a 40 % of energy costs.

In cloud computing, all data and applications will be saved and accessed from a remote server or a remote data center. This approach will save energy, cost and resources. AT&T funded  Carbon Disclosure Project issued a report, which reveals that, a company that adopts cloud computing can reduce its energy consumption, lower its carbon emissions and decrease its capital expenditure on IT resources.

4 tons of CO2 are eliminated for every server virtualized. That’s why virtualization can play vital role in green computing. Virtualization is the technology that abstracts computing resources and separates out the operating system so that machine can run multiple applications. Virtualization can reduce hardware, energy, and support costs. 

The government has taken initiative about certifying the data centers as green. There are some criteria in government’s regulation which includes using low-emission building materials, recycling, using alternative energy technologies, and other green technologies.

So the bottom line is,
Green IT starts with engineering eco-friendly products and encouraging IT departments to consider more eco-friendly options like telecommute, virtualization, paperless work, power management, reducing e-waste, proper recycling habits and establishing green certified data centers.

Greening our IT products, applications, services, and practices are an economic and an environmental necessity, as well as our social responsibility because we all breathe the same air and live on the same planet

So please, save the earth because,
In universe, Earth is the only planet where we can breathe...

No comments:

Popular Posts