What is green cloud computing?

 

Pexels photo by Luis del Rio

We live in fraught times where a degraded environment has become an existential problem for the whole world. This has prompted an across-the-board clean up in the way that mankind goes about the business of living. Everything from the way we travel and pursue our livelihoods to how we eat and entertain ourselves is seeing a paradigm redefining move towards a more ecologically sustainable way of doing things.

That includes even something like cloud computing-something one would never imagine has anything to do with the environment, but apparently, it does. The fact of the matter is that with an exponential rise in the demand for cloud architecture across enterprises, there has been a huge surge in energy consumption emanating from a large number of data centers and servers required to support this.

It is, therefore, essential that efficiency in the use of energy resources be incorporated into the cloud computing process. That is what green cloud computing is all about.  We could define it as the process by which one devises the use of digital spaces in a manner that has minimal impact on the environment.

How organizations can achieve green cloud computing

Plan for it

Green cloud computing will not occur in a vacuum. Organizations need to come up with a green computing plan. This requires them to look at elements like power management by way of using a green algorithm that significantly reduces power consumption at cloud computing data centers. Another thing that one can look at is virtualization-using multiple operating systems running simultaneously on a computer system. This use of common servers and terminals can result in a substantial reduction in energy consumption.

Among other things that an organization can do to facilitate green cloud computing is to go for a cloud service that uses an eco-friendly model for data storage and backup. An integral part of any green cloud computing initiative has to be a green data center that makes use of technologies that are energy efficient. They will make sure to work with systems that are up to date with regard to data storage and management.

That apart, an organization would do well to choose equipment that is certified for energy efficiency. All in all, it is important that any organization looking at implementing green cloud computing should ensure that they use the available resources optimally, leverage virtualization and manage power consumption optimally.

Why Green Cloud Computing

Green cloud computing provides benefits on several levels including environment, efficiency and cost-saving.  Taking the environmental factor first, using cloud computing has a huge salutary impact in the shape of a reduced carbon footprint on account of more efficient use of energy and the enabling of paperless working.  From the point of view of cost-saving, green cloud computing is driven by efficient use of resources driving down costs for consumers and improving customer service. That apart, green cloud computing brings down the cost of operations on account of lower energy bills, which benefit too can be passed on to the customer. Another benefit that accrues to consumers on account of green cloud computing is the fact that it can be used as a pay as you go service that is scalable and very market-orientated.

Conclusion

The need for green cloud computing is only going to grow as time progresses on account of the fact that the kind of energy needed to power data centers is increasing exponentially. Not addressing the issue will lead to a phenomenal increase in the amount of greenhouse gas emissions and the best way to do so is by implementing green cloud computing. This is something that has to be done in light of not just the Paris Climate Accord obligations, but a growing realization that things will not continue the same old way.

The growing importance and indeed the urgency surrounding the need for green cloud computing also presents a great business opportunity to many. It lets organizations easily scale up and down in accordance with the demand. This helps them reduce idle time with regard to energy consumption in a major way. The benefits of adopting green cloud computing help organizations in terms of not just money savings, but also better customer experience, retention of employees, faster development and of course, reduced greenhouse emissions-a winner all the way.

How to Live a Sustainable-Life in Modern Times

 

Lead a sustainable life to save earth
Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels

Are our lives slowly losing their sheen?

Crazy weather patterns and environmental disasters come knocking at our doors frequently these days. Leading a  sustainable-life in modern times can help us heal the earth.

Awareness and cultivating a few habits. That’s all that it takes. And you’re a contributor to sustainable living!

With that said environmental degradation is an issue sitting smack bang at the centre of our lives. It has damning consequences. Burying our heads in the sand shows ignorance.

Thankfully, it’s a doer’s world! We can turn the tide. Know the facts. That’s half the battle won! And that’s exactly what this blog post is about….

Interested?

Let’s take a deep dive.

The pandemic blues…

And here we are now- dealing with this beastly pandemic. It’s held our life in an iron grip. Refusing to let go!

We’re tired. Some of us in a permanent state of funk. Days are a drag. We long for normal and carefree days. Aw, we want our lives back!

That said, this pandemic and the lockdown have shown us:

  • How fragile our so-called order is (we are in charge of this planet, no way…)

 

  •  How for granted we took our freedoms (a virus keeps us caged…)

 

  • And how little is needed for our daily lives (the basics- food, clothing and shelter)

Human beings are inherently selfish (barring some great souls…). We care about only those things we think will be of some use to us. By that logic, the earth is our home. It shall be home to our future generations as well. So, shan’t we do everything possible to protect it and conserve it?

Without further ado, let’s pull out some facts to know as to how we can live a sustainable-life in modern times.

                                            .       .       .

First and foremost:

What is Sustainable Living?

It’s a lifestyle choice in which we reduce/lessen our impact upon the earth. This is achieved by taking appropriate measures to save energy and reduce pollution.

Some of the examples of sustainable living are be: using cloth bags for shopping (such a simple one…yet very effective), choosing an alternate way of transportation, switching our food habits etc.

Why not get a better picture:

Why is Sustainable living so Important ?

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”

These famous words by Mahatma Gandhi ring so true for our times.

Our daily life makes us consume energy at a blind pace. Connection with nature is zilch.

And the outcome is we:

  • Rip off the earth of its natural resources

 

  • Fill the skies with toxic clouds

 

  • Create mountains and mountains of waste

 

  • Pollute water

 

  • Drive animals homeless and even endanger their existence.

Holy smoke! We’re destroying the planet?

This reminds me of a story where the person- the protagonist (Kalidas) is believed to have sawn off the branch of the tree he was sitting on.

Sadly, that’s what we are doing to our planet.

Let’s see how:

The trap of greenhouse gases…

The greenhouse gases (GHGs) provide us with the necessary warmth to keep life alive on this planet. They allow the sunlight to pass through the atmosphere. So, nah! the natural greenhouse gases are not the culprits. 

But at the same time, they don’t let the heat or the warmth go away.

Now, we constantly burn fossil fuels when we consume energy. Electricity (bulbs, appliances, a/cs, heaters etc.) to run our homes and for commuting (cars, planes etc.).

Then un-planned deforestation! And many more such activities enormously increase the amount of greenhouse gases.

 

Photo by Eelco Bohtlingk on Unsplash  

 This changes the equation.

And they (GHGs) become killer gases. Amplifying global warming. Resulting in catastrophes: Droughts, heat waves, hurricanes, extinction of wildlife, floods etc.

Our bulging population only adds further stress to the stretched resources.

Read this stat: According to earthday.org, the worst impacts of climate change could be irreversible by 2030[1]. What’re we waiting for? Hell, to freeze over.

Living a sustainable-life in modern times is our only salvation. No rocket science. A few simple measures.

Ready to walk through a few of them!

                                                 .       .      .

How to lead a Sustainable Life?

Some set-screws we need to turn for our own good.

1. Cut on Transportation- the driver of pollution

Cars, trucks, buses etc. burn fossil fuels. These trap heat in the atmosphere.

This leads to climate change.

What’s the escape route?

Strike a BALANCE. Pivot to environment-friendly options like:

  • Use carpool whenever you can (sharing is cool)

 

  • Cycle for shorter distances (it’s fun)

 

  • Go walking (a super way of reaching very close destinations)

 

  • Use public transport (metros, buses are a great option)

 

  • Ditch planes for trains when travelling shorter distances

 

  • If you are a car owner ensure regular maintenance (that takes care of the carbon emission)

 

  • If you can’t do without a car then buy a smaller one or a second-hand one (high time to show some maturity…)

 

  • Switch to electric or hybrid cars if that is an option.

Go car-free ….

Now that every man and their dog own a car; consider yourself lucky if you haven’t bought one.

It spares you all the worries of maintaining a car. And bingo! your carbon footprint gets slashed.

Less carbon foot-print = Sustainability-life in modern times.

WFH is a boon. Just no pollution. It saves your buck as well.

2. Cut on Waste- The Toxic Jungle

 

Photo by Anita Lusina on Pexels

Our next challenge: Waste

According to the UN report- the world produces as much as 50 million tonnes of electronic and electric waste(e-waste) a year. Just 20 % of this is formally recycled[2].

The rest ends in landfills. Growth has a fillip side!

Some tips to reduce e-waste:

  • Stop dumping your fabulously working phones or laptops for some shiny newer model (remember the chase never ends…)

 

  • Extend the life of things around you by repairing them (our ancestors, elders did it all the time)

 

  • Buy less (buy those gadgets and appliances, you can’t do without, the rest lie idle in your home or pile up the landfills).

Another form of waste eating into our environment is food.

As per theworldcounts.com, about 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted every year[3]. An irony! In a world where millions of people are suffering due to hunger.

Let’s get organized and be food-wise:

  • Buy food that you intend to eat

 

  • While ordering it from outside, be sure about the quantity

 

  • And in case you’re cooking your own meals, keep the no. of people eating it in your mind.

Food looks great on your plate, not in your dumpster!

These little considerations  will certainly contribute to  a sustainable-life in modern times. And they will be easy on your pocket as well.

3. Block those energy leaks at Home

Just look around your home. And reduce the consumption of energy:

  • Unplug your appliances and laptops when not in use (do it right away!)

 

  • Using energy-efficient bulbs like LED (switch now!)

 

  • Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth or washing your face (reduces carbon footprint and BTW resources are not limitless)

 

  • Stop the usage of plastic bottles (they release toxic chemicals, instead stainless steel is a great option!)

 

  • Cut on the usage of air conditioning or the heaters (make yourself a little tougher J)

 

  • Order less to avoid packaging of the stuff. Go out and shop locally (remember to carry your eco-friendly shopping bags)

 

  • Buy things sensibly (stop getting gaslighted by marketing gimmicks)

 

  • Eat less meat and switch to plant food (meat produces greenhouse gases).

You can add more to the list. Just don’t forget to share them.

4. Be a responsible tourist

The tourism industry has been in the doghouse since the pandemic. Hopefully, the rough period won’t last. The pent-up demand must be on the cards.

That said, the international tourist arrivals are expected to reach 1.8 billion by 2030[4]. Expected to boom. Yeah! we love to travel, explore hidden gems and bump into new people.

Perhaps this could come with a caveat:

  • No littering please (collect your trash)

 

  • Do not throw waste in sea or sea-beds (it kills aquatic animals)

 

  • Do not use plastic (it piles the landfills, chokes our water bodies and takes ears and years to decompose)

 

  • Choose a smaller accommodation (it saves energy)

 Go camping…

Gotten used to staying in hotels! Give it a break. Camping is a super-duper way to enjoy your vacation. One: you’re closer to nature. Second: it adds an air of freedom to your holidays. Besides, it’s sustainably wise in modern times.

Just don’t forget to carry your reusable bottles and reusable bins. Leave no trail of muck.

5.  Minimalism- the way to be

Photo by Kaboompics.com on Pexels 

Happiness is a state of mind.

Who believes it?

Boatloads of money, more stuff, bigger cars, more houses…yes, we get suckered into this dream of happiness. In this mad scramble of overconsumption and vanity, we oft lose time, lose the meaning of life and happiness eludes us.

Amidst this noise, there is a small section of people (but growing in numbers…) who think and live differently. Meet the minimalists.

They refuse to get handcuffed to the pre-conceived notions of success and happiness. Some Millennials are Gen Z are nailing the minimalist idea.

  • They keep stuff which they actually require (tossing out the clutter….)

 

  • They don’t indulge in overconsumption (outgrown materialism)

 

  • They invest in emotions which help them evolve (gratitude, compassion…)

 

This freedom and fewer things to bother about…. they feel freer and lighter. Exploring life.

  • Aware of the fact that time is a precious resource…. They focus on their passions zealously (without getting obsessed with mindless growth…)

Happiness and contentment are the consequences of their actions. Their carbon footprint is tiny. They are a classic example of  sustainable-life in modern times.                                                                                       

                                               .      .      .

 Conclusion

Scratching the itch but ignoring the rash. Doesn’t washFresh air and freshwater are fast becoming a luxury.

Living a sustainable-life in modern times shows our love for the earth. Tweak your lives in whatever way you can. It’s not big of an ask.

Just a quick recap:

1.  Bye-bye to Use and Throw Culture

Reuse, rehash, rent and repair- are the golden mantras. Live by them.

2.  Holler, Message and Connect- to build a Network

Foster online communities. Talk is cheap. If we can talk the talk, then we can walk the walk.

3.  Ignore people who are tone-deaf

People will be shackled to their views. Disconnect with reality makes you a Luddite.

4. Keep an eye on Cleaner Energy

Yeah! That’s the future. We’ll have to leave fossil fuels at some point. The churn has begun. Renewable energy is making waves.

Every drop and every bit counts. If these thoughts resonate with you, then we’re on the cusp of a beautiful change.

Healthy future = Sustainable-life. Become woke and stay safe.

 

[1] https://www.earthday.org/5-terrifying-climate-change-facts-scare-halloween/

[2] https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/press-release/un-report-time-seize-opportunity-tackle-challenge-e-waste

[3] https://www.theworldcounts.com/challenges/consumption/foods-and-beverages/food-waste-facts/story

[4] https://www.unwto.org/archive/global/press-release/2011-10-11/international-tourists-hit-18-billion-2030