Eco-Google… We’re glued to a different tube… Work life not over at 50… Rich emit more gas… Materialism = unsatisfactory


Just like Google, only darker

It has been estimated (by the ecoIron blog) that when a cathode ray tube monitor displays a predominantly white webpage it uses about 15 more watts than it does while displaying a predominantly black webpage, according to OhGizmo.

Google gets about 200 million queries a day, so if the popular search engine were to use a black background instead of a white background on its search page, over the course of one year 3000 megawatt-hours of electricity and $75,000 would be saved (assuming that 25% of people still use old cathode ray tube monitors).

Enter the Blackle search engine. Blackle looks just like Google, except for its grey text on a black background. Not only does it save energy every time you use Blackle as opposed to Google, but it’s a good reminder that lots of people taking easy little steps to save energy can make a big difference.


Your kids are glued to another tube

Australians are watching less TV and spending more time surfing the web and playing online games, according to a new GfK Australia survey reported in The Australian.

The survey found that browsing on the web is the consumer media activity that has experienced the greatest growth in the first half of 2007 against second half 2006, driven primarily by a big increase in time spent on user driven sites such as MySpace and YouTube. By contrast, time spent watching the good old TV has declined, as did console gaming, shunted aside by the popularity of massive multiplayer online gaming.

More survey respondents also say they download music illegally rather than legally, while a full 10% reported that they have got on board with the technology convergence phenomenon by permanently plugging their PC into their TV.


Over 50 and washed up?

Australia might be experiencing a skills shortage, but 73% of Aussies believe that by the age of 50 finding new employment is almost impossible, according to a recent survey of more than 2000 people conducted by recruiter

Mature workers (41-55) have an even grimmer perception of their own situation, with a massive 82% believing that finding employment after 50 is near impossible. Of the baby boomers, 51% believe it is almost impossible to get a job after the age of 45. CEO Campbell Sallabank says this pessimism among mature workers could come from the fact that older workers have skills and experience gained through many years in the work force and therefore are generally seeking higher end jobs, which tend to be harder to find.

But the fear, he says, is largely unfounded. Sallabank says workers in the mature age group make up one third of Australian workers compared with one quarter two decades ago, and have a lower unemployment rate than the combined workforce.


The rich emit more gas

The more stuff you have, the more damage you are doing to the environment. So it’s no surprise really that the residents of our wealthiest suburbs are also the biggest contributors to global warming.

Residents of rich, inner city areas such as the Sydney and Melbourne CBDs are emitting twice as much as households in less affluent areas, thanks to rampant consumerism, according to a report released by the Australian Conservation Foundation.

It’s not just the cost of powering the downlights, air-conditioning and heated lap pools, it’s the emissions created in the production of consumer goods. The national average is 18.9 tonnes. Here are some of the worst offending areas:

  • Woollahra, Sydney: 28.56 tonnes.
  • Sydney CBD: 37.11 tonnes.
  • Southbank and Docklands, Melbourne: 31.63 tonnes.
  • Stonnington-Prahran, Melbourne: 28.11 tonnes.


Materialistic staff are harder to please

The more materialistic a worker, the more easily they are disgruntled, according to research published in the International Journal of Occupational and Organisational Psychology reported in The Australian Financial Review.

Belgian psychologist Maarten Vansteenkiste quizzed 885 men and women of different levels of achievement about their attitude to work and life. He found that workers strongly motivated by material reward, as well as status, power and adulation, are more likely to feel exhausted and unsatisfied by the job, and to contemplate quitting. These poor souls also experience more family conflict and general unhappiness.

Workers motivated by a desire to better themselves, the performance of the company or some aspect of society are generally better adjusted.

The lessons from this? Offer rewards to staff other than pay rises and communicate corporate goals in ways that harmonise with an individual worker’s intrinsic needs.


SmartCompany Quote of the Day

“I believe in benevolent dictatorship, provided I am the dictator.”
Richard Branson


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