I’ll give Google credit, they practice what they preach. The company always looks for sorts of ways to go green, whether it’s using alternative energy sources to power their monstrous datacenters or mow the lawn.
The company’s Mountain View headquarters are actually somewhat off the highway in a hilly, grassy area. Like any other Silicon Valley company, they could always call in landscapers to keep the vegetation at bay, which they did for a while until coming up with a better solution.
Instead, they rent out some 200 goats, and one Border Collie to keep things orderly, from a company called California Grazing, which offers just such a service. They bring their herd of goats to various offices to nom nom nom your lawn away. As it turns out, Yahoo has been doing this for a while, too.
Anyway, Dan Hoffman, director of real estate and workplace services at Goole noted it costs about the same as landscapers but the goats are “cuter” to watch. I don’t know about that, although the Collie might qualify. Google even posted a video (with camera shakiness reminiscent of “The Blair Witch Project.”) of the goats at work.
Guess who has a problem with this? If you said “PETA,” you win a prize. They complained to TechCrunch, which actually sent a reporter to watch the goats in action, that they had concerns about how the animals were transported and whether they have enough shelter and water.
Google actually responded to the complaint, humorously, saying the goats, while not Google employees, were entitled to an organic lunch. Isn’t that what they are getting now?