by Kristin Burnham

How to Travel Greener, Polish Your Résumé and Clean Your iPhone Microphone

Jun 09, 2010

Tips and tricks to make your life easier.

How to Travel Greener

CIOs are increasingly asked to consider environmental impact and energy spent as criteria in their decision making and strategic planning, according to the report “IT Going Green,” from BT. And while properly recycling old equipment and purchasing Energy Star-compliant products may come to mind when looking to lower your carbon footprint, business travel is also gaining attention.

“Considering green travel is ethically responsible, and as leaders, we need to set the example so that our employees do the same things,” says Direct Energy CIO Kumud Kalia. “It doesn’t make sense if we’re talking about greening our data centers and reducing the amount of printers if we undermine that by traveling a lot.”

Kalia, who has achieved carbon neutrality, offers three alternatives to travel that may help reduce yours:

1) Consider video conferencing. Some meetings may require you to be face-to-face to interpret body language, but sometimes video conferencing can replace that, he says. The length of the meeting is important to consider. (Kalia says that long meetings can be difficult to do via video conferencing.) So is how high-quality your video conferencing technology is. Sometimes having great teleconference tools can enhance a meeting that may not have otherwise happened, he says.

2) Purchase carbon offsets. If travel is unavoidable, consider purchasing carbon offsetsone option to counteract the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by flying. Search for accredited projects—Kalia recommends reforestation and the production of wind farms and hydroelectric dams, as examples. Visit for more information.

3) Work from home. Most travel within the United States isnt with an airline, its to and from the office, notes Kalia. Not everyone can work from home all the time, but if we were to have a portion of that workforce work productively at home once in a while, that can cut down on emissions, he says.

How to Address Job-Hopping on Your Résumé

It’s not uncommon to take on contract work during your career, especially when you’re between full-time jobs. To avoid raising a red flag for employers, group all of your contract engagements under one heading, such as “Contract Work” or “IT Consultant and Contractor,” and list them under one time period, for example, “January 2007–Present.”

This makes several short-term projects look more like long-term employment. What’s more, if, during the same period, you had a full-time job for only a few months, you could easily leave that job off your résumé without it looking like a gap in your employment history. —Meridith Levinson

How to Clean Your iPhone Microphone

At the bottom of the iPhone, there’s a speaker on the left and a microphone on the right. If you can’t hear anything or if someone can’t hear you, most people fear the worst: internal damage in the sound system. But there’s a good chance that the holes are merely clogged with debris.

If you’re experiencing sound degradation, try putting a dab of strong rubbing alcohol (such as 90 percent alcohol) on an old tooth brush. Use the brush and a can of compressed air to clean the holes. Be careful not to use too much alcohol, though—you don’t want any liquid to find its way into the speaker or mic. The potential of liquid getting into the phone would make anyone nervous, so proceed at your own risk. —Tom Kaneshige