Tuesday Two.Oh! Tools for Saving the Planet

Tuesday Two.Oh! is not meant as an endorsement, but as an exploration of the tools that are out there. Click at your own risk. 🙂

Today on Tuesday Two.Oh! we’re going to talk about saving the planet. I think that most people involve themselves in the easier forms of greenery- like recycling and turning lights off when you’re not in the room (which my parents always told me to do, but more likely to save money than the earth at the time- but good habits are good habits!). The site we’re going to take a look at today has been around for awhile, but it will help those of us wanting to do a little bit more find different ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Let’s take a look at Carbon Rally:

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From the site: “That’s when we hatched the idea of Carbonrally. We would create a place where many people could discover and commit to small, positive actions over time. People on the site could propose great ideas for saving energy and reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and the community would choose the best ideas to pursue as a team. We’d track the collective impacts, and show the power of many people getting the job done together. Bit by bit, the community would learn the connections between climate and lifestyle, and rack-up literally tons of carbon benefits along the way. The Internet would make the process surprisingly fun and social… we’d celebrate and we’d compete!”

The first thing that I found to be really interesting about the site is the fact that you don’t really have to sign up for an account to benefit from the information there. Tips and challenges to reduce your carbon footprint are free for anyone to read and try as they see fit. If you want to be a part of the “rally” then you want to create an account and keep track of the challenges in which you choose to participate.

Signing up for an account is very very easy- all that was required was an email address and password. Once that had been accepted, you were asked to update your profile (they provide you with a user name and password, so if you don’t want to get stuck with weezle7932 then update your user name).

Once you have created an account you will have a Carbon Page.

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This is where you will keep track of your challenges and the amount of carbon you have “reduced.” Think of Carbon Rally as being on the honor system- they calculate their numbers by assuming you are telling the truth about participating in a challenge. So, if you’re serious about biking to work one day a week, take the challenge! Here’s a challenge that’s really easy to do:

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Each challenge page will have a lot of information attached to it.

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Also, a further reading section:

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The whole “rally” aspect of the site comes into play if you join a team. It’s perfectly ok for a person to use the site on their own, but motivation is found in crowds. Companies can create a team and invite their workers to join and contribute in the workplace. If they do well in a given month, they might be featured on the “leader board.”

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It appears to be very easy to create teams using Carbon Rally, though you will need to create an account to create or join team.

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The last feature of Carbon Rally we’re going to take a look at is the “Workshop.” In this area users can post ideas and methods to saving the planet that occur outside of the Rally’s challenges (which are semi-regular, coming every couple of weeks).

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In the workshop forum workers can propose all sorts of energy saving tips that a reader can choose to do on their own time.

In closing, I wanted to take a look at an environmentally geared website today. I know that my household is currently trying to reduce/reuse/recycle, and I admit I sometimes am guilty of being lax (especially when it comes to driving).

I think the potential for Carbon Rally is to show people that the changes they can make are not overly life-changing in a personal sense. And, if you can do it for a month or so (as the challenges seem to run that long on average), then people might decide that it’s easy enough to make the permanent change.

Watching the Green Revolution come about has been a wonderful thing in our culture- but, some worry that we’re not moving quickly enough. Hopefully sites like Carbon Rally will catch on a teach us how to live correctly in ways that are easy and make sense. Acceptance is only the first step, after all.

I’ve passed this site along to my university’s Environmental Committee, and I look forward to joining a team and working towards a lowered carbon footprint if they decide to go in that direction.

As always, thoughts and comments are welcome!

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