For many Americans, as our fathers might have said at least once during our years of childhood or especially during our adolescent years, "This is not the same world in which I grew up."

For many of us, gone are the days of 12-cent comic books, 35-cent burgers and bottles of pop that sold for a dime--plus deposit. Movie matinees are no longer a buck and gasoline sells for considerably more than the 29 cents, 60 cents or even the dollar a gallon we grew up with.

We've made it past Orwell's 1984, Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick's 2001, and many of us still marvel as we watch our GPS-guided tractors mimic the efficiency of Asimov's great robots as they toil through the soil like an unstoppable army of George Lucas' clone army, or more like his mechanical walkers that took the Old Republic wars to that distant galaxy far, far away.

Farmers turn to crop insurance for risk management

Many of us have even warmed up to the idea of climate change and now realize the world must become a more sustainable environment if our grandchildren are to survive it.

Perhaps it is because of this progress, both personal growth and society's universal awakening to the potential of technological change and the impact it will have on our futures, that large corporations are starting to climb onboard the rising wave of sustainable living.

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Leading the way, not surprisingly, are a number of companies that rely on high technology to make their billions. Six major internet companies, for example, have committed to 100 percent renewable power for their energy hungry data centers. Apple, Facebook, Google, Box and Salesforce have all agreed to be a part of what they hope will be growing green internet companies.

But high tech giant Microsoft is putting its own spin to the sustainability issue, at least as it relates to becoming a green partner in an emerging world concerned about adversely affecting the environment. The company's latest sustainable energy strategy officially gets underway this week with groundbreaking construction of a new wind farm in Texas.

Microsoft's Robert Bernard, the company's chief environmental strategist, says last year Microsoft introduced an internal carbon fee designed to increase the company’s costs for using carbon-based forms of energy. He says the corporate giant reasoned that buying more renewable energy and becoming more energy efficient would be a major step in the right direction toward a green environment.