Meet Justine

Meet Justine, our new Green Services Coordinator. She’s smart, enthusiastic, and a hard worker. We hired Justine to help Tech Networks on all sustainability fronts. But, for now, she’s doing most of the heavy lifting on our Green IT services methodology. Today she was diving in to the subject of uninterruptible power supplies (UPS’s). Did you know that a UPS hooked up to equipment that draws less than 30% of the rated output of the unit, the UPS’s efficiency can drop dramatically?

The toughest problem Justine is facing right now is with computing “in the cloud.” So-called “Cloud Computing” is a catchall phrase to describe the various types of Internet-based solutions, from Gmail to Salesforce.com. With cloud computing, you don’t know where your data is actually stored, much less how much it is contributing to global warming.

When our Green IT services methodology is released to the public, we hope that we will be able to call on Cloud computing providers to be more transparent about where they are storing their clients’ data and how much energy they are using to do it.

Planting a tree is an act of hope

Last Saturday, and for the next two Saturdays, I’m planting trees in people’s front yards with JP Trees. JP Trees is one of the many groups of people who have joined together to help the City plant 100,000 new trees by the year 2020.  As a JP Trees member, I plant trees at the homes of people who have signed up to get a free tree. Before the trees are planted, a site survey is performed and the site is cleared by Dig Safe. Seems a bit like overkill considering that the trees we plant are usually about two to three feet tall.  Luckily, my role in the process, like most JP Trees volunteers, is pure pleasure.

We arrive at the prospective tree-owner’s house, show them the tree they’ve selected, and get to work with the pick-axe and shovel. The homeowner chooses the orientation of the tree based on where the main branches should point when the tree is grown. We then dig a hole that is shallow and wide, remove the tree from its container, carefully untangle the root ball, and plant the tree. A berm around the tree helps hold the 2-3 gallons of water we give it.  Then we mulch with some straw. Voila! A tree is born in Jamaica Plain.

We do ask the homeowner for a donation to cover the cost of the tree. Unless they are in dire financial circumstances, they are usually quite obliging.  When the tree planting is over, we usually troop back to Ula’s Cafe in the Brewery for some snacks.