Internet search provider Google is undeniably a king of high tech with some of the world's most advanced server farms, arguably the best (or, at least the highest traffic) search engine in the world, and its own smartphone OS. So some would be surprised at Google's latest drive in its quest to green its business and protect the environment. Google is going for the goats.
Visitors to Google's headquarters saw something unusual this last week -- a pack of hungry land animals. The playful creatures were devouring Google's lawn. Did Google know about this strange incident?
It turns out it did, and in fact engineered it. Dan Hoffman, Director Real Estate and Workplace Services at Google, writes, "At our Mountain View headquarters, we have some fields that we need to mow occasionally to clear weeds and brush to reduce fire hazard. This spring we decided to take a low-carbon approach: Instead of using noisy mowers that run on gasoline and pollute the air, we've rented some goats from California Grazing to do the job for us (we're not "kidding")."
He continues, "A herder brings about 200 goats and they spend roughly a week with us at Google, eating the grass and fertilizing at the same time. The goats are herded with the help of Jen, a border collie. It costs us about the same as mowing, and goats are a lot cuter to watch than lawn mowers."
One would figure that such zany ideas would arise from a place where employees play in sea of colorful balls on their breaks. It is amusing to note, though, how some of Google's best green solutions are decidedly low tech (though others, like its servers are really complex).
Google did not release a comment on whether it got any extra perks -- like goat milk or cheese.