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I Want to be More Green...

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Written by Brent Barbara

Last week I presented at the United States Green Building Council - Long Island chapter - on green technologies and on how VoIP and M5 are good for the environment.

The day was filled with presentations about how businesses and consumers can reduce their carbon footprints.  The central messages were we can all make a difference, and even the little things go a long way.

Do you know which electronics in your home are inefficient?  If you can’t measure usage, how can you improve? I know my dehumidifier, water cooler, and extra fridge run 24/7 and draw power, but how much? What is the cost for convenience? Do my monitor, NAS drive, and printers need to be in standby mode at all times or should I just turn them on when needed? How much will this save? Soon I will know.

The night after my presentation I went on Amazon.com and bought two devices for my home that were recommended at the conference.


  • A power strip that turns off power to devices that draw power even while on standby mode

  • An energy usage meter (“Kill-a-watt”) to measure electrical usage


I already have CF bulbs, air conditioning on timers, and try to remember to turn off my computer at night. But I know I can do more at home. The US Green Building Council inspired me to do more.

Before my presentation, I had no idea how green VoIP could be. We calculated that M5 directly saves 60% of the power needed to run a phone system by sharing voice services across our clustered environment.  We also allow our customers to telecommute with ease. It’s documented that telecommuters are more productive and efficient when they work remotely.  And by maximizing the number of teleworkers we can reduce Persian Gulf oil imports, reduce greenhouse gases and save consumers billions at the pumps.

What are you doing?