Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Introducing the “My blog is carbon neutral” initiative

When you own a blog dealing with environmental issues such as climate change and global warming, you obviously want to do your part for the environment. It's with this in mind that I started looking for simple ways to make my site carbon-neutral. This would definitely be a small but important step in making Poorplanet.com a better place in a way.

After doing my little research, I came across a German site (www.kaufda.de) which currently holds a programme called “My blog is carbon neutral”. There are different sites allowing bloggers or webmasters to make their site carbon-neutral but you would have to pay a certain monthly or yearly fee. Many bloggers do not get revenues from their sites or too little revenue to invest in such green solutions. However, the "My blog is carbon neutral" initiative is free. The only requirement is to write a quick article about the initiative and the will plant a tree in return. This is done in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, which will plant THE Tree in the fire-ravaged Plumas National Forest in Northern California, to cover your blog's emissions.

Here is a quick estimation of how much carbon a website emits:
According to a study by Alexander Wissner-Gross, PhD, physicist at Harvard University and environmental activist, an average website causes about 0.02g (0,0008oz.) of carbon dioxide for each visit. Assuming an average blog gets 15,000 visits a month, it has yearly carbon dioxide emissions of 3,6kg (8lb.). This can mainly be tracked back to the immense energy usage from (mainframe) computers, servers, and their cooling systems.
And how much carbon is absorbed by a tree:
[...] the atmosphere can be relieved by an average of 5kg (11lb.) carbon dioxide every year by planting one tree. An average blog causes 3.6kg (8lb.) of carbon dioxide emissions. Consequently, a tree neutralises the carbon dioxide emissions of a blog. Since a tree lives for an average of 50 years, carbon dioxide emissions of your blog can be completely neutralised for this time period.
If you want to make a difference, start by following this link: www.kaufda.de
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