Category Archives: Environmental Solutions

14 Mar

What is going on with my water?


It all seems entirely counter intuitive that we get a massive downpour of rain and snow and yet we have to face water restrictions. This quick guide will explain why – it is not as simple as you may think!

Why the water restrictions?

There are a number of reasons for this. First, the cold weather has a more severe impact on old pipes causing them to burst. Ireland is still getting up to speed understanding the details of our network and is undertaking the largest projects ever in the state to chart our network – which has never been done before.

08 Mar

Effective water management goes beyond fixing pipes

water scarcity

Up until yesterday, Cape Town was 129 days away from running out of water. This forecast has now been pushed back to 2019, but let’s take a moment to consider how scary this concept is.

Never mind restrictions like the ones Ireland is enduring now. When the reservoirs all but run dry for everyone, except emergency services and those who can afford private wells, people will have to queue at water distribution points to collect a capped amount of up to 50 litres of water a day. Considering it takes on an average 9 litres to flush a toilet, imagine how restrictive this would be on your day-to-day life. Beside the time spent queuing – with 17,000 people at each distribution point every day – it is not enough to even have a shower. What is even more shocking is that this approach meets UN resolution 64/292 to have safe, clean water accessible to every human within 1km or 30minutes of where they reside. When we talk about water being a human right, this is what we mean – not limitless water delivered to your home 24/7.

09 May

Green entrepreneur of the year award

We could hardly believe it when our name was called out. Less than 2 years after we set up the company we have been recognised by a group of our industry peers as being the best at what we do. It has, without doubt, been a long and hard slog to get us to where we are now. So this award means so much to the entire team as it endorses the work we are doing. For me, working on the vision and strategy of the company every day, it is important to see the role environmental consciousness and sustainability is taking in mainstream business functions. We can see already the tide is turning towards a more environmentally aware way of operating. What came as most of a surprise to us was how many leaders in our industry that we met on the awards night were already noticing of the work we were doing.

12 Jan

The future of Water

Water scarcity is hardly something we worry about here in Ireland. We have anywhere between 750mm and 2000mm of rainfall annually which is healthily distributed nationally by thousands of naturally occurring waterbodies such as rivers and lakes. The recent changes in Ireland towards the provision of water services has divided the nation in an issue that is not black and white. Some Irish people have no objection to paying for water services whereas some believe it is a civil right. In debating this issue I think it is worthwhile to take an extrospective look at the issue of water provision worldwide.

31 Aug

Making Changes & Making a Difference

It is hard to believe I am working almost one year at Elm – the time has absolutely flown. So much has happened since I joined. I have played a key role in the development of two great software applications at Elm and have lead the implementation and achievement of ISO 27001:2013 Certification for the company.

My software development skills have evolved a huge amount, I simply do not think it would have been possible to do such a full range of development at a larger company. At Elm I am involved in true ‘full-stack’ development. The lessons come thick and fast, and so does the learning. Not to mention a healthy dose of head-scratching and puzzle solving – all part of a day in the life of a software developer!

26 Aug

So I Swapped Africa for a Grand Dose of Craic, Guinness and Blue Eyes

It’s definitely not easy to pack up one’s life after 28 years and move halfway across the world. I mean, just moving out of your parents’ house for the first time is scary.

Some say I was crazy and impulsive, but what they don’t know is that this was actually a well calculated gamble.

03 Aug

Cecil’s Outrage

In the last week there has been an incredible global reaction to the commercial hunting and death of Cecil the Lion, Zimbabwe’s most famous lion. It has been astounding how one animal’s death has caused such a media frenzy. With regards to the hunting of Africa’s enigmatic mammals, there has been a steady rise in the numbers of elephants, rhino’s and other large mammals poached and commercially hunted each year for the past couple of decades.

21 Jul

Anki – Cool Flashcard App

Anki is a spaced repetition application, based around user-generated flashcards. I have been using it about nine months and it has been great for learning Polish, programming syntax, and keeping my Spanish ticking over, even if I’m not a fan of rote learning. The cards are shown using a display algorithm. That’s where the real magic of this nifty little program is.

Here at Elm we make great software for a living and like that which makes living easier too. Life in a start-up doesn’t slow down for much, and there is no harm to have another tool in the box – whatever the interest! Ok, first things first.

11 Jul

31,556,900 seconds old today!

Birthday cake

We can hardly believe it… 1 year ago today we made our dream a reality and became a limited company going by the name of Elm Solutions. Why in seconds though? Well, anyone who’s involved in a start-up knows that it is not, in any shape or form, a 9 – 5 job. Every waking (and a lot of weird unwaking seconds) are spent worrying, thinking, planning, innovating and dreaming about the future. I remember glimpsing the saying “Entrepreneurs spend 80 hours a week to avoid working 40” on the day we set up and you could not speak a truer word. Although it’s not just the entrepreneurs but everyone who works for and with Elm.

10 Jul

13 things we learned in our first year

It has been 1 year since we became a fully fledged IT start-up and no matter how experienced you may think you are, there is so much to learn in such a short space of time. One of our core principles at Elm Solutions is that failure is necessary when moving at a fast pace. It means you are pushing the boundaries while learning the route to success. But the importance cannot be overstated enough in failing fast while maintaining the highest levels of delivery for your clients. All that being said, accepting failure as a necessity of producing the best quality is fine, but making the same mistake more than once is unforgivable. If I could impart 13 lessons to anyone about to embark on the IT start-up journey it would be the following;