Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Help Little Green Genie go out of business!

Earlier today, someone asked me - "What am I actually buying, and who gets the money?" if I sign up for Little Green Genie and offset my computer's carbon emissions. Here was my answer. I thought you might enjoy it.

Burning of fossil fuels is a major source of industrial Green House Gas (GHG) emissions, especially for power, cement, steel, textile, fertilizer and many other industries which rely on fossil fuels (coal, electricity derived from coal, natural gas and oil). The major greenhouse gases emitted by these industries are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), etc, all of which increase the atmosphere's ability to trap infrared energy and thus affect the climate.

As a computer user there's two ways you contribute to carbon emissions. The first is through the manufacture of your actual machine. To make the average desktop computer 1727 KW of energy, 20 KG of chemicals and 1035 liters of water were used. In all, an average of 1,214 KG of carbon dioxide was emitted just to make your machine!

The second way you contribute to carbon emissions is through the energy you use to operate the machine. From country to country the amount of GHG emissions created through the power you consume to run your computer (or any other device) varies greatly depending on that particular country's use of coal, gas, hydro or nuclear energy. In Australia for example, 1 KW hour of electricity creates 1.08 KG of GHG while in the US it creates 0.7 KGs and in Europe (Green friendly folk) it creates 0.5 KGs.

By becoming a Little Green Genie customer and buying carbon credit through our software, you are basically saying - "Hey, I can't do anything about the emissions created to manufacture my computer and I can't do anything about the emissions that will be created by the power I consumer to run the machine, but I can offer to pay someone to find a way to stop carbon emissions elsewhere".

Your money, together with all the other Little Green Genie users worldwide goes to buying carbon credits from operators of independently audited renewable energy projects that are reducing Green House Gas emissions. In other words, we are creating a group of environmentally conscious computer users who are paying to create cleaner solutions for the future. In theory, if we invest enough money we could find cleaner ways to make computers and create cleaner energy sources to run them. It would be great if Little Green Genie went out of business on this basis!
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