More and more people are interested in offsetting their website’s carbon footprint and various businesses are brokering eco projects to match this offsetting. But is the web greening business substantially more than a clever moneymaking scheme?
Surfing the net burns real electricity and your PC or laptop monitor creates harmful emissions every second that it’s running. So greening your online presence is definitely a valid item to put down on your offsets list.
What’s more, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which is considered the world’s most stringent paper certification agency, is looking into producing certificates for businesses involved in matching your carbon offset needs with environmental goals. To think that a vast portion of all business these days is conducted via online websites which all run on heavily laden servers which in turn depend on other servers, the scope for greening our online lives is vast.
Dedicated web carbon offsetting facilitators are already beginning to show their presence. They range from purely social networking outfits linked to environmental causes to hyper commercial enterprises.
Co2stats.com greens your website traffic by offering a widget which if you sign up for it certifies your website as ‚Äòenvironmentally friendly’, based on the number of visits. Co2Stats monitors how much electricity is involved to power your site and offsets the amount of carbon involved in keeping your website running. The calculations are in depth and account for server usage, locations of your visitors, computer types, window and monitor sizes, local fuel mixes, download sizes and times. The company adds up the data of every website that has signed up for a Co2stats widget and purchases Green-E certified Renewable Energy Certificates every month. The certificates offset the CO2 footprints of the websites of all the people that run the Co2stats widget. The companies sponsoring Co2stats are Native Energy and Sustainable Travel International.
Users can inspect how many certificates their website has generated monthly by clicking on their CO2Stats widget. The emission offsets are invested in renewable energy projects. It’s quite cool to think that thousands of sites are made carbon neutral regardless of where they’re hosted. The site’s sponsors get some of the Renewable Energy Certificates for CO2Stats free because they only have to pay real money for certificates of sites that exceed 100 impressions of the widget each month.
The UK company Click4Carbon.com is a case in point illustrating that the crossroads between commerce and the environment needn’t be either or. It’s clearly a commercial venture as it makes excessive use of people’s tendency to act out of the goodness of their hearts when the environment is concerned. Offering a tool which allows you to check how much you need to spend on their products, Click4Carbon’s online store is directly involved in achieving environmental goals. By the time you reach the check out you’ll have a clear idea of how many trees you’ve saved, the level of carbon you prevented from having been produced and electricity saved.
In case you didn’t feel like shopping Click4Carbon.com also claims to be the only environmentally friendly search engine to use Google technology. Using Click4Carbon already makes you contribute to the environment without sacrificing on quality because you become a ‘green visitor’ who’s being given practical advice on how to reduce your negative impact on the environment.
Click4Carbon donates at least 50% of all profit its huge online store makes to the planting of trees and recently started to support the Plant-a-tree-today Foundation.
A Facebook application called Greenbook is pretty much a rehash of the ideas that keep Co2stats and Click4Carbon afloat. The application’s creators claim their sponsors offset the carbon footprints of all the people that sign up, much in the same way as Co2Carbon. You will have ‚Äòcleansed’ your very Facebook presence (finally a useful idea!) by (what else?) signing up to the group, which has 80,148 monthly active users. Additionally you can submit green living tips to the group which will increase your green points and therefore the application’s sponsor contributions. Greenbook’s owners purchase CO2 reduction certificates each month and hand these out to their users. Current sponsors are TerraPass and Teecrush.
Greening up your online presence might for now seem a tad arbitrary but it isn’t all that different from your regular schemes matching an environmental goal with a commercial activity. The issue will definitely be worth your attention by the time FSC certificates have arrived. Stay tuned here.