Green Corner: Logging into a sustainable Internet

Generation Y is known as the generation living in a society where everything is centered around computers and technology.

This cyberspace society has become an industry in itself, where products are made and services are offered. It has impacted countries all over the world and as many as 40 percent of the world’s people now use the Internet at least occasionally, a proportion that is growing every year. Many college students can say they use the Internet way more frequently than that.

Sustainable development has been a focus of international public policy since the Earth Summit in 1992. It identifies three core objectives for human development – economic growth, social inclusion and environmental sustainability. Only by pursuing these together can the world achieve development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Gary Cook from The Guardian mentions that if the internet were a country, it would now rank sixth in the world for it’s electricity demand, estimating that there would be about six billion people online by the end of this decade.

It is believed that if big corporations like Google, Apple and Facebook were to power their companies with renewable energy, it can positively impact our environment in ways not many know. Thanks to the information provided by renewable resources, these companies have taken affirmative actions. Google signed two contracts with wind developers to power its data center in Finland with 100 percent renewable energy. Google signed a power purchase agreement for a 63 megawatt wind farm that will power its Netherlands data center planned for 2016.

Apple also built the largest privately owned solar farm in the country to help power its data center in North Carolina, and has announced that its data center in Nevada will be powered with solar and geothermal energy. Facebook’s decision to build a data center in Iowa helped to drive the local energy provider to scrap plans to build a nuclear power plant, and instead build a $2 billion wind farm, which has led to the biggest single order of wind turbines on record.

So, what exactly does this have to do with college students? If industries are looking toward more sustainable methods, they are certainly looking for more sustainable knowledge and individuals. Rider offers many opportunities to become that kind of marketable individual through academic opportunities such as a sustainability minor or through clubs such as the Green Team.

Rounding out your character is important when entering the real world with real jobs and opportunities. Recognizing sustainable actions and taking the steps to incorporate them into our lives offers a move in the right direction for a generation built upon the Internet and all its perks.

 

—Tiffany Girado

Lawrenceville Eco Rep

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