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Helping Kids Gain Balance between Gadgets and Nature

By: Guest Contributor, Kimberly Grimms

The world is hurriedly becoming an incubator of technology and innovation. Every minute a child is born, a robot is honed. With every gadget, the more robotic entertainment and interaction get. Indeed, technology means it when it brags about staying connected 24/7.

As we all experience plodding cultural change, an extinction of outdoor play among kids is observed. Every one couldn’t agree more.

 

Photo courtesy of Aperturismo via Flickr

Seeing this plight, it is pertinent to ask certain questions to ourselves. Should we continue moving on in this vicious circle involving technology on our kids’ daily life? Or, should we renounce the confines of daily life and start having our kids in the lap of the future? One more pick, should we take a path somewhere in between?

You and your kids don’t have to choose between technology and nature. Combine nature and gadgets with these exciting outdoor play activities with your kids!

1.     A Nature-themed Photowalk

Ask them to prepare their phones and cameras, not to take pictures of them but, go outside and take pictures of nature, the whole family and your outdoor activities. You can get the kids fall in love with nature through bighearted photowalk or make a family video, while having picnic outside.  Let kids use their gadgets to capture the most amazing nature shot. Let them look for birds and flowers to take pictures of it. Prepare mouth-watering and healthy food and prepare mindful and nature-based games. Before the day ends, take a look at the pictures they took and see who have the eye for photography.

 

Photo courtesy of Thomas Hawk via Flickr

 2.     Technology-themed Treasure Hunt

Encourage group cooperation, problem solving, following directions, thinking and reasoning with this extremely exciting game – treasure hunt.  Prepare colorful costumes and props. Make it look like the real treasure hunt they see in the movie. Put a twist. Make their gadgets available with them and let them research online the answers for each station question. You can also use gadgets to cue for the clues, like picture texts, simple math problems, text formatting quiz and many others. At the end of the day, make sure to prepare something special for the kids. Discuss too, what they learn with the treasure hunt play you prepare.

Photo courtesy of Kiven Lawver via Flickr

 3.     Bring them (and their gadgets) to the Playground

Blend technology with nature and play. Bring them and their gadgets to the nearest commercial or residential playground. Ask them to play their gadgets while sitting and see if she/he would prefer playing video games than playing with swing, slide, marry-go-round and other playground equipment. If she/he prefers playing with gadgets, ask him/her to invite friends to join him or tell him to take pictures of her/his friends. If she/he prefers to play with kids in the playground, let her/him. Children have the opportunity to decide for themselves, stimulate their problem solving skills and creative thinking. When they explore the outdoors, they feel freer to wander. Seeing such scenario is just priceless, go create your own nature-themed play project for you and your kids.

 

Photo courtesy of Brisbane City Council via Flickr

  4.     Introduce them to Outdoor Science

Set everything you need outside, it can be in your backyard, near play area or your community playground. You can use simple and easy concepts of science to make kids hold their gadgets and be the next Einstein, modern Einstein. Awe them with do-it-yourself rainbow or the mentos-coke experiment or the all-time string telephone. After accomplishing each simple experiment, explain the basic concepts behind them and let them asks questions. Answer each patiently. Ask them to draw or write a simple review or analysis. You can also ask them to present their simple hypothesis in the front and illustrate it using their ipads or gadgets.

Photo courtesy of Isola di Einstein via Flickr

5.     Game for an Outdoor Quiz

Chances are you and your kids have had quite good and memorable experiences with nature recently. Then, it is now time to dipped your toes in the mud and relieve your outdoor moment through a simple quiz. Ask them the name of the bird you just saw or maybe as simple as asking him what color is the flower you’re holding. Let him/her search in on the internet through his/her gadget and at the same time, see and experience it real time. Make sure to take pictures of him/her too and upload it online. In this manner, he/she will appreciate more of nature while he/she is using his/her gadget.

 

Photo courtesy of Justin Henry via Flickr

We often hear negative effects of almost nothing and everything. Why not go between the lines and try a different approach. Work with technology for nature and your kids. Stimulate all of your kids’ senses, including their innate nature-lover.

 

Kimberly Grimms is a futurist who spends most of her time monitoring social behavior in search for new consumer trends. 

by Editor

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May/14
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Solar Power: 4 Steps to Harnessing the Power of the Sun

By: Guest Contributor, Barry Snyder

Superman is powered by the sun and, for most people, solar power remains an elusive fantasy – something relegated to comic book superheroes. And, while solar power isn’t taking over the coal and oil plants, there are some specific uses for solar panels that make sense. Up until now, most consumers haven’t bothered with the technology because it provides only intermittent power, and it’s expensive to set up. But, if you live in a really sunny area, it might make sense to set up your own mini power plant. Here’s how.

Do Your Research

This seems obvious, but research is critical. If you live in Seattle, for example, solar power might not be the greatest investment of time or money. If you live in New Mexico, it might be able to power your entire home. The U.S. Department of Energy makes this rather easy to figure out. Its solar energy potential map shows you year-round solar potential.

Even when you’ve figured out whether you live in a sunny area, you’re not done with the research. You’ll need to look into costs for both the equipment and the installation. In some areas, feed-in-tariffs will speed up the payback period for you because excess energy can be sold back to the power company or used to offset the need to buy electricity from your utility company.

These systems tie directly into the energy grid, and do not rely on battery banks. As such, they are not ideal for off-grid power generation, but they are good for supplemental energy purposes.

Get quotes from at least three different installers so that you have an idea about how much the market rates are for the setup you want. You’ll also need to figure out whether you want a system that will partially or fully offset your electricity use. A system that is designed as a replacement for utilities will generally cost more, because you’ll need more panels and a more robust system capable of powering your entire home.

 

 

Select A Good Area For Positioning

Before you buy anything, figure out where you will put them, and if your property is conducive to panels. Just because you live in a sunny geographical area doesn’t mean your property is conducive to generating solar energy. The best position for fixed panels will be north-facing. That’s because Australia is in the southern hemisphere, and you want the solar panels to be facing the sun as much as possible.

If you have panels that can move with the sun, then the position will be within a specific range as opposed to a set, fixed, position.

Choose a Good System

Certain energy related companies make commercial-grade solar energy equipment. In general, these types of companies will produce a high-quality product compared to consumer-grade companies. They also tend to cost more for the initial installation. However, that upfront cost is usually worth it if you plan on keeping your system for life.

Maintain Your System

Like any piece of technology, there are maintenance costs. The panels need to be cleaned from time to time, and possums and birds can damage the components, decreasing the efficacy or efficiency of the system, so that’s something to consider. Repair costs can be expensive too, if something does break. Ask installers and manufacturers about costs for replacement parts and tech service, as this will be part of the long-term costs of your system.

Barry Snyder is an energy researcher. When not putting hypotheses to the test, he greatly enjoys writing about the emerging research in the field. Visit the Infinite Energy website for more solar power ideas and information.

Solar power image via Shutterstock.

 

by Editor

Be A Mindful Camper

Some people like to spend their vacations in a luxurious spa with the AC blasting, a never ending buffet, and a chlorinated pool they never step into but instead just lie around. That’s good and fine, but many of us prefer a more back to nature approach to vacation, like camping. The experience of a good camping trip is incomparable.  Going to sleep under the stars and waking up to birds chirping and fresh air makes you really appreciate nature.

But appreciating nature doesn’t give campers a free pass to disrespect it. A lot of times when people go camping they forget that they are not the only things living there. When camping, it is important to be sustainable and limit your impact.  We need to respect nature if we want future generations to be able to experience it.

Here are some suggestions for limiting your impact while camping:

–          Do Not Feed the Bears, or any other wildlife for that matter. Follow the campgrounds/campsites guidelines for safe food storage. Not only can feeding wild animals bring danger to humans but animals stomachs are not designed for a bag of extra spicy cheetos or cool ranch Doritos.

–          Bring refillable water bottles. Instead of bringing dozens of plastic single serving bottles opt for reusable bottles and a large container of water to refill your bottles with.

–          Use Reusable Utensils.  Don’t rely on paper plates and plastic solo cups, bring your plates from home and wash them with biodegradable soap. Most campsites have “take out what you take in” policies, so bringing reusable supplies won’t require extra work.

–          Stick to the Paths.  Not only is it safer for your ankles to stick to the pre-designated paths but walking off the path can cause erosion. There is nothing lame about bringing a map!

–          Use a Tent Made From More Sustainable Materials. Purchase a tent that is less toxic and made PVC and Solvent Free with poles made from recyclable aluminum. When buying accessories look for products with a low carbon footprint.

–          Be Thoughtful About Where You Poop.  If you are staying at a campsite/campground without bathrooms, choose a ‘business’ site at least 200 feet from your campsite and water sources. Dig a 6 inch cat hole. When done, cover it.

–          Do Not Take Souvenirs.  Leave the flowers to pollinate and the berries for the birds.

–          Let  It Burn, Controlled. Minimize campfire impacts by avoiding bonfires.  Use pre existing fires pits when available, or create a low impact fire mount. Remember that “only you can prevent forest fires,  so make sure your fire is out before you leave.

Happy Camping!

sunset camping via shutterstock

 

by Maddie Perlman-Gabel

Mother Knows Best?

What makes the best mother? Is it a mother who is completely dedicated to her children and will defend them at all costs or one who is supportive, letting their children make their own decisions, even if they are mistakes?  The answer is not easy because there are all types of good mothers that share a mix of these qualities.  Unfortunately the answer is even harder when talking about the animal kingdom. For many animal mothers, rearing offspring can seem to be more about keeping the species strong, then being what a human would consider a good mother.

This brings me to the subject of bad mothering.  How can we determine what makes an animal a good parent if their unusual actions helps makes them a successful species. Acts that may seem atrocious to humans like infanticide or the mistreatment of unsuccessful offspring may be what makes their species successful.

None the less, as humans, we still consider their mothering practices as offensive. Here is a list of some of the most offensive yet interesting mothers in the animal kingdom.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Hamster

Everyone’s favorite classroom pet  is well known for eating their babies. First-time hamster mothers will eat their babies if they feel intimated by the babies or if the babies are undersized/ abnormal.  Hamster owners are advised not to touch a hamster’s litter for the first two weeks or the mother hamster will eat or ignore her babies

Dracula Ant

Dracula ants practice “non-destructive cannibalism”.  The queen and her workers chew holes into larvae in order to feed on the haemolyph for its nutritional value.  Larvae act not only a potential next generation but also as a food source.

Giant Panda

It is common for panda to give birth to twins even if they only have the resources to take care of one.  In the wild the mother panda will ignore her weaker offspring in favor of taking care of the stronger one. Another murderous habit pandas have is they have been know for rolling over in their sleep and accidently crushing their babies who are only a fraction of the size as their mothers.

Black Bear

Black bear motherly habits are kind of the opposite of the pandas.  Black bears usually have litters of 2-3 cubs but mother bears prefer to raise multiple cubs at a time for economic reason, it’s just as easy to raise more than one.  If a black bear has a litter of only one cub she will abandon it and wait for the next year to raise a larger family.

Burying Beetle

Burying beetles raise their young inside dead mouse carcasses. They then eat the mouse and regurgitate it back to their larvae. There is usually not enough mouse to go around so only the first larvae to get the mothers attention get fed. The mother then eats her larvae that don’t get proper nutrition from her.

Horse

Male horses have been known to kick and kill foals that are not their own. In order to protect her foal when a mother horse realizes she is pregnant, she will have sex with all the stallions in order to confuse them as to who is the father. If she is unable to achieve this it is possible for her to have a spontaneous abortion.

Cuckoo Bird

Instead of raising their own chicks cuckoo birds lay their eggs in the nests of other unsuspecting species. The cuckoo chick will usually hatch earlier then the other birds eggs, hogging all the food and attention.

House Sparrow

Male house sparrows tend to have multiple families. In order to get the father sparrow to bring all his attention to her chicks mother sparrows have been known to kill the chicks of competing mothers.

Lions

When a pride of lions gets a new dominant male he will kill all lions under the age of two and chase off any other competition. Lionesses, unable to anything about it, go into heat.

Galapagos Shark

A mother Galapagos shark will eat anything she comes upon while looking for food, even if it is her own offspring.

Hamster Mom via Shutterstock

Pandas via Shutterstock

by Maddie Perlman-Gabel

The Impact Of A Great Divide

Often we forget the impact our political gestures have on wildlife. There have been many examples throughout history. One such example is the rabbit populations that lived predator free within the Berlin Wall. By living between the two sides of the Berlin wall, the rabbit population was protected from outside predators and populations grew exponentially. After the wall was taken down the rabbits had to relearn how to live without being “shielded” by German policy.

Walls and fences can disrupt migratory patterns, access to food resources, breeding diversity, and proper population control. The building of the Great Wall of China has lead to significant genetic differentiation among flora on either side of the wall. In India, a wall meant to protect Indians in the Kashmir Terror from Pakistani Guerillas interrupted migratory patterns of bears and leopards causing them to wander into villages and attack humans.

Recently our Affiliate Care2 wrote an article I found particularly interesting and wanted to present in the blog. The article was a list of animals whose populations would be greatly affected by a Mexican/American Border Fence.   While the building of a fence separating Mexico and the United States is a hot social and political issue, it will affect wildlife as well.

 

Pumas

Pumas require land to roam. The placement of a fence will greatly limit their range and most likely make them move to another area.

 

Coatis

Because Coatis are small, they are less likely to be able to remove themselves from a disturbed area like pumas. This may lead to diminished resources resulting in a possible population collapse.

 

Pygmy Owls

Pygmy Owls are low flying birds and do three quarters of their flying below the height of the proposed wall. Juvenile owls prefer colonizing areas with vegetation.

 

Big Horn Sheep

A fence would divide up the Big Horn population reduces genetic diversity. Isolated populations are more susceptible to disease and drought.

 

Bobcats

When bobcats’ territories are disturbed, they are likely to cross into zones more populated by humans where they are at risk of being hit by cars.

 

Great Wall of China via Shutterstock

Coati via Shutterstock

by Maddie Perlman-Gabel

Let the Earth Day Festivities Begin!

This coming Tuesday, April 22nd, will be the 44th Annual Earth Day. During the premier Earth Day, in 1970, 20 million Americans participated by demonstrated against the deterioration of the environment leading to the creation of the EPA, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act.   Earth Day began in the United States but is now celebrated worldwide.  Though Earth Day is less than a week away it is not too late to attend a pre planned even or even start one of your own.

This year’s Earth Day theme is Green Citites. It is the hope that this year Earth Day will mobilize citizens to encourage their cities to make greener policies and decisions.

Below I have compiled a list of interesting events in a few major US Cities. If you do not see any local events below I suggest visiting Earthday.org and using the Events Tool Bar (find the local events search on the right). You can also join the Billion Acts of Green Campaign or Mobilize the Earth Campaign.

 1. Washington DC

This year Washington DC will celebrate Earth Day April 21 through 23 at Union Station. There will be a bunch of interactive activities and experiences in hopes to raise awareness of the environment. The event will be held by the Earth Day Network and sponsored by NASA.

Other Earth Day events in the Washington DC area include Earth Day at the National Zoo (April 22),  Earth Day at the United States Botanical Gardens (April 25)  Thee Green living Expo at George Mason University (April 26), and Earth  Day in Alexandria at Ben Brenman Park (April 26).

Also, Don’t forget to check out the Annual Cherry Blossom Festival.

2. Chicago

Friends of the Parks will be hosting a Parks and Preserves Cleanup in over 100 Chicago Parks on Saturday April 26 from 9 am until noon. To find the park nearest you go to http://www.earthdaychicago.com/ and click on “View Registered Sites”

3. New York City

Earth Day New York, a non profit, is holding exhibits April 22 at Union Square and April 23 and 24 at Grand Central Station.  Events will include Earth day crafts and a Green motor vehicle runway show. Earth Day New York

“The Green Festival” will take place at Pier 94 on April 26 and 27th . The Green Festival is the largest sustainability event in the world and includes an array of speakers and exhibits addressing fair trade, green business, jobs, food, social justice, and fashion. This year it will include a Yoga Pavilion and a Sustainable Beer and Wine Garden.

4. New Orleans

The New Orleans Earth Day Festival and Green Business Expo, organized by the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, is taking place April 19 Louis Armstrong Park. This year’s festival theme is Go GreenArmy. Activities include bingo, solar powered daiquiris, interactive art, a second line, and lots of live music.

5. San Francisco

Earth Day San Francisco is scheduled to take place April 19 at Civic Center Plaza. There will be an electronic dance stage, a eco-fashion show, bike repair lessons,  artists from burning man, and cooking demonstrations, to name a few activities.

6. Austin, Texas

Austin Earth Day will take place April 26 at Mueller Hanger and give attendees the opportunity to listen to a range of speakers, participate in interactive community drumming, dance, and listen to great music.  Educational demonstrations for all ages will be available on topics like cooking, composting, and turning dumpsters into livable homes.

7. Philadelphia

On April 19 there will be the 33rd 5K Run for Clean Air. The Navy Yard will also holding education sessions for Earth on April 21 through April 25.

For more Earth Day Events Click Here or feel free to post your (or your city’s) events in the comments section.

Happy Earth Day!

hands with dirt via shutterstock

by Maddie Perlman-Gabel

Drink Up!

Strange is good. Innovations that start out as weird can eventually become major game changers. The “Ooho” water container may be one of those game changing ideas.

At first glance the “Ooho” water container looks like a clear jellyfish after it accidentally washes upon shore, not necessarily something you want to put in your mouth. But if you consider the implications of a disposable water container that does not rely on plastics, you might want to try and give it a sip.

The “Ooho” was designed by London design students Rodrigo García González , Pierre Paslier, and Guillaume Couche, who wanted to come up with a more eco-friendly way to drink water. Every year millions of water bottles are used and are thrown out instead of recycled, filling up our landfills and refusing to degrade. “Ooho” is not only biodegradable but it is also edible.

“Ooho” is made using the gastronomy technique spherification. The outer membrane is a compound made from brown algae and calcium chloride that works like the outer membrane of an egg yolk. Because “Ooho” is made from such simple ingredients it is extremely cheap to make.

“Ooho” recently won a 2014 Design Award from Lexus and was displayed at Milan Design week.

“Ooho” is not a perfect product yet. There are many issues that need to be addressed before everyone starts carrying “Ooho” instead of plastic water bottles. “Ooho” still seems relatively fragile and messy when used. Then there’s a question whether people want to eat a product that has been sitting in their pocket all day?

Still, “Ooho” is a neat scientific experiment which may one day lead to a water bottle revolution.

 

Ooho Video via Fast Company

Water Bottles via Shutterstock

by Maddie Perlman-Gabel

Earth Hour 2014

What are you doing this Saturday March 28th at 8:30 pm? Are you doing something cliché like going out for a nice dinner and a movie?

Instead, how about joining millions of people from around the world by participating in the 8th annual Earth Hour, an event where you shut off your lights to express your concern for the environment and show support for planet Earth.

Earth Hour is the brainchild of WWF, the World Wildlife Fund. Earth Hour began in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, when 2.2 million residents turned off non-essential lights. Since then, Earth Hour has spread to 152 countries and is considered the largest symbolic mass participation event in the world. Last year lights were turned off in historic landmarks like Big Ben, the Taj Mahal, and even the International Space Station.

This year Spiderman will be acting as Earth Hour’s first superhero ambassador touting the motto “Be A Super Hero for the Planet”. The cast of the movie ‘Spiderman 2’ will be in Singapore to help the country turn off the lights at the Marina Bay Skyline and to celebrate the environmental grassroots movement.

WWF is also using Earth Hour to gain support and funds for their crowd funding projects from around the world.

Earth Hour is meant to be more than just an event where individuals turn off their lights for an hour and go their many ways. The Earth Hour website serves as a way for communities to get together and take care of the planet as one.

Light Switch via Shutterstock

by Maddie Perlman-Gabel

Don’t Know What To Do this Spring? How About Spring Gardening?

By: Guest Contributor, Aby League

Spring signals the start of a new life. This is the season for birds to chirp happily in the air greeting every living being, for flowers to start blooming and to grace the world with their beauty and fragrance. The spring season is when nature calls out to people to get closer to sceneries and greeneries. There may be a lot of outdoor activities to do at the first day of spring but why not start at your very own backyard.  Gardening should be at the top of everyone’s spring activities. It’s nice to wake up every morning with a beautiful garden to enjoy the spring season to its fullest. But gardening should not be taken lightly, it’s a good way to exercise and relieve stress and it is fulfilling to see the results of your labor. Fully pumped up with the idea of spring gardening but don’t know how to start? Well then, why don’t you take a look at these early spring chores that will definitely give your garden a jump start?

Image Credit: Four Seasons Garden, Flickr

Clean Up Your Yard

Spring gardening does not actually start at the very first day of spring. It starts even before spring season begins. Basically you start cleaning your yard to make way for your new plants and check. Tidy up flower beds and lawns by raking leaves and getting rid of debris. The leaves and debris can be put in a compost pile and combined this with perennial foliage.

Structures in your garden such as fences, decks, and gazebos for insect infestations or rotting and get them fixed immediately. This is also a good time to start weeding since the weeds are still young and their roots are still weak for easier pulling. You can also start surveying for possible pest problems. Once you have detected pests like a hornet’s nest or termite tunnel, take the proper measures in getting rid of them. Lastly, waterways should be checked. Make sure that all waterways are cleared from debris or any kind of blockage for the next spring. This is also the time to install water butts if you want. These should be placed under downpipes to gather all possible rainfall.

Make a Compost Pile

A compost pile or a compost bin is the combination of all the debris and the leaves that you got from cleaning. Cut branches shorter to speed up decomposition with grass clippings, weeds, perennial foliage, vegetable peelings, and paper and combine it with water. Keep on turning your compost regularly every time you add more to the pile before the start of spring. Continue doing this for the rest of the season so that you will have a compost pile for the next spring as well.

Get Seeds and Tools

Once you are done cleaning up your yard and visualizing your spring garden, it’s time to hit the net and search for spring garden ideas. Look for the plants that you want in your garden and the tools that you will need. You can look at blogs for tips and join forums to share ideas. Look for flowering bushes for spring. You might want to check out small flowering shrubs for your front lawn and flowering trees for your backyard or front yard.

Make sure that the plants that you will buy are ideal for spring gardening. You can also start sowing seeds that need a longer season like Geraniums and Begonias for early spring gardening. Early planting can also be done inside. Start in pots and just transfer them outside once the soil is already workable. But you can still stick with fast growing plants like Gold Forsythia, Tri Color Willow, and Rose Glow Barberry. As for the tools, check the tools that you have and note the ones that need some tuning and the ones that you are missing. Most importantly check your mower. Get the blades sharpen, have it tuned if needed, and refill its oil tank.

Start Planting

Choose a cloudy day to start planting. Before planting your seeds, make sure that you have already fertilized your soil. Sun loving shrubs are ideal for the spring season like Double Pink Knockouts, White Out Rose, Burning Brush, and Heavenly Bamboo Nandina for a colorful garden and some Fragrant Tea Olive, Sky pencil Holly, and Dwarf English Boxwood for some green to balance out the color. You can also choose to plant flowering trees that are ideal for spring like Eastern Redbud, Flowering Dogwood, and Rhododendron.

Now you can start with these spring gardening tips and enjoy the spring season. If you do such a good job with it, there might be a blue ribbon waiting for you.

 

About the Author: Aby League is a researcher. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and is currently taking her Master’s while working as a freelance writer and researcher. She is also an innovator and technology enthusiast. On top of all that, she’s a mother of two lovely kids and she also runs the blog AboutPossibilities.com.

by Editor

Green Future: Google Invests $1 Billion in Clean Energy

By: Guest Contributor, Hailey Robinson

There’s a tech company that’s concerned with green – and no, not because it’s the color of money. The Internet juggernaut Google has recently invested $1 billion in green, clean, reusable energy. It’s an investment that could change the way consumers and users access Google services, depending on how the company plans to utilize these new assets.

Read on to learn more about Google’s latest venture in renewable energy, why it did it, and what exactly it’s doing with this environmental technology. Hint: the answer might blow you away.

Google’s Clean Energy

 

Image via Flickr  by Timothy Tolle

If you haven’t guessed it by now, Google invested specifically in clean wind power — $275 million in Texas resources alone. In addition, Google heated things up by including solar energy resources in the mix. So, why did it do it? According to CNBC, “Google spent $2.25 billion on data center and infrastructure spending, a huge area of costs for the company. That’s one of the reasons the company is aggressively moving to solar, wind and other alternative energies to power its data centers and banks of servers scattered around the world.”

But its intentions aren’t solely rooted in saving money. However, it’s a huge bonus. Along with improving the environment, Google is slated to see a high level of energy efficiency that should offset some of its costs.

The Benefits of Alternative Resources

Environmental implications top the list of benefits for alternative resources; next is saving money; and then, finally, it serves as a sort of emergency backup. Emergency energy in times of extreme weather is exactly what tech companies need to stay operational and outlast the competition. With continuing dependence on “the cloud,” tech companies feel continuing pressure to back up their backups. The best tablets today use Google’s web applications. If these services fail, so does Google and the companies piggybacking on its success.

Blowing Away the Competition

Google won’t be the first or last company to make investments in green technology; however, its sheer number of financial resources ensures they’ll be at the top of the list for future clean innovations. And as long as they continue to take advantage of this technology, it’ll benefit financially. It’s a cyclical trend that increases its growth overtime.

It’s a trend that invites more consumers as well. It’s hip to be green, and Google isn’t colorblind. On its website, it notes: “We’re greening our company by using resources efficiently and supporting renewable power. That means when you use Google products, you’re being better to the environment.” Consumers are buying into the green investment just as much as Google.

A Job Growth Investment

While renewable energy in general hasn’t created the kind of job growth analysts had hoped, it’s possible that Google’s specific investments will create new jobs within the company. It adds an entirely new sector within the company that calls for qualified individuals to run and support the clean power.

While the numbers aren’t yet in on how many jobs it’ll create, it’s obviously opening up opportunities that weren’t within the company before. Any company, tech or otherwise, that expands its verticals is investing in job growth – whether directly or indirectly.

The Corporate Future of “Going Green”

With more and more tech companies being responsible for the state of our environment (re: e-waste and the carbon emissions from manufacturing plants), it’s high-time that more of these corporations took responsible measures to offset their output.

Google has set an unfortunate bar for smaller tech companies who may not be able to afford the somewhat expensive clean energy it uses. Likewise, consumers will increasingly expect that larger corporations with the resources to afford these technologies will adopt them.

Whatever you think about global warming and the environmental impact of carbon emissions doesn’t exactly apply. There are other uses for alternative energy, and Google is proving it one windmill and solar panel at a time.

What do you think of Google’s recent investment? How do you think tech companies could do more to improve our environment? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Hailey Robinson is a recent graduate with a degree in Journalism. Now that she isn’t face first in books she is trying to travel as much as she can. She writes in her free time between fixing up her new house and teaching people how to live a longer, healthier life.

by Editor

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