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October 16, 2007

Blog Action Day

Today (well, yesterday now if you are in Australia) is the first Blog Action Day - where "bloggers around the web will unite to put a single important issue on everyone's mind."

In its inaugural year, Blog Action Day will be co-ordinating bloggers to tackle the issue of the environment

For whatever reason, the readers (yes both of you) of this blog seem to be pretty 'liberal' minded, which I am guessing extends to the environment.

I've very long been so, both actively and passively. For over a decade I didn't drive a car - and rarely stepped in one, taxi or otherwise (though I have done a fair bit of air transport in my time - twice to Europe, several times to North America, once to Japan), quite a bit to the South Pacific and New Zealand, and increasingly around Australia.
These days, it is true, I have a lot of electronic devices, both in my house (several computers, TV/DVD, plus phones, cameras, video cameras, iPods and so on that need charging), but we use green power here - essentially, we pay a smallish premium for our power to be purchased from wholly renewable sources.

Our servers in the US are run by a carbon neutral hosting company (pair).

Going forward, we want our conferences to be carbon neutral as well - that is to offset the green house emissions that all those flights and so on generate, and to make it easy for our attendees to do so as well.

Is all this sufficient - not by a long shot. But I've learned over my time on this planet that the best intentions and strongest passion doesn't necessarily achieve a whole lot - 'from little things, big things grow'.
Tomorrow, next week, next month and next year, the way we live our lives will look largely similar to today. But making incremental changes - green power, carbon offsets, reducing our footprint, reducing our consumption and so on - in my mind stands a far greater chance of real long term systemic change than an all or nothing set of expectations.

Just do something starting today eh? A few "easy" things.

Make your web hosting sustainable
Offset the carbon from your car today
Switch to green power for your domestic or commercial power consumption
Work from home more

What suggestions have you got?

October 16, 2007 | Permalink


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My family have recently installed a whole series of solar panels on our roof, which have been subsidized by the government. The energy goes back into the grid, and we then get a rebate to the same amount.

In the ACT Fieldforce and ActewAGL launched a program to save energy through free replacement of light bulbs with more energy efficient varieties. http://www.actewagl.com.au/environment/enviroSaver.aspx

Another thing I've been doing is actually turning my computer off at night, instead of eaving it on running a virus scan, or downloading something. That probably saves a fair amount of energy that I really didn't need to use.

Posted by: Guy Leech | Oct 16, 2007 11:58:56 AM

This is a bit more extravagant, however for Australians our wonderful Fed Govt is offering a $8000 subsidy for Solar Power. I have done some research and for an $8-12K outlay, Australians can generate between 60-80% of their own electricity. There are currently many rumblings in the solar industry about new technologies that are more efficient, with less of a footprint. So although the cash outlay may seem like a lot right now - with a forthcoming change in Federal Govt, and new technologies, there will be opportunities to generate your own renewable energy even more affordably hopefully within their first term in government. You can also change your globes (cheap as chips and in some cases free), and buy carbon offsets - again, cheaper than you think (I paid $230 per annum for my car).



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