Remember that post a few weeks about the Google Ara project? Well, my friends, there are other opportunities for electronics to align with greater and farther reaching sustainability goals that you can take part in this Wednesday! Enter my niche of technology and sustainability and see the possibilities that we can open up by redefining the cycles we interact with on a daily basis.
This Wednesday, I have the pleasure to introduce ITS to the Sustainacommunity with an event centered around reduce and recycle (reuse will be handled by Green Ground’s Craft Sale at the same time in Clark). Outside of Newcomb Dining from 11-2, ITS ( AND I…………….) will be there to promote Box via free t-shirts as well as publicizing the availability of e-waste recycling bins around Grounds provided by UVa Recycling by allowing you to bring your e-waste listed below to recycle.
You can find more info here: http://its.virginia.edu/box/promo.html and RSVP to the event: https://www.facebook.com/events/290195391137373
ITS provides a free service to UVa students, staff, and faculty with 50GB of free cloud storage provided by the company Box. Faculty and staff can use Box to store certain types of low to medium secure information on Box, providing them an alternative to printed copies. For all users, Box provides an easy mode of sharing documents that other file sharing sites may not easily hold (program installers, computer codes, etc.). Students benefit from the increases served space relative to 7gb from Dropbox, 7gb from OneDrive, and 30GB provided by Google Drive, and other entities students choose to use, while also being able to share to other students simply with their computing id.
For a green benefit, storing documents on Box can reduce energy usage per administrative group versus maintaining their own server storage. Box can also reduce the overall carbon footprint of the group even when taking into consideration the electricity source of Box’s servers and the grid to transfer the files from server to local machine because of the scalability of efficient cooling systems to keep servers running
. While the intensity of energy used at data centers could potentially lead to some interesting environmental justice concerns (like where does the power come from, how is the local environment around the power plant affected), all the major players in the data storage space (most tech companies) are improving the situation as well as providing other great benefits
While I was unable to secure the energy sources of Box’s servers at the time of this post, further digging uncovered Box’s server HQ to be in Los Altos, CA
, south of Palo Alto in Silicon Valley.
As seen above, in July 2013, Los Altos used 66% of its energy needs with Natural Gas with 32% met by traditional coal and some hydro with about 1.7% solar. This is cleaner than the national average and helps to enhance Box’s footprint advantage compared to our mainly coal and natural gas mix at UVa.
UVa Recycling currently recycles cell phones, batteries, CD’s and DVD’s, tapes, jewel cases, and printer ink cartridges at O-Hill entrance, Runk entrance, Clark Hall (Brown Library), Clemons Library entrance, Alderman Library entrance, Fine Arts (Fisk) Library, and Darden School.
This event looks to spread awareness about environmental impacts of electronics, not only from the point of use with Box, but when UVa community members (like YOU!) are ready to discard their electronic devices.
For staff and faculty remaining in a mindset to print hard copies of documents, Box provides a great secure storage solution for them to maintain these documents within reach.
For students and the community, this is an opportunity to be aware of the impact of your electronic devices and do your part to mitigate ill effects of improper handling. It also opens your mind to consider cloud storage as a way to reduce not only your energy costs and local emissions but actually help you to your goals on decreasing your overall footprint.
Can’t wait to see you there!