Today is October 15th – the Blog Action Day. On this day, bloggers all over the world unite to raise awareness about a chosen cause. Last year I shared 5 ways you could fight poverty from your desktop and make a difference. This year the conversation is about Climate Change. While the extent of climate change may be debatable, one thing is undisputable – if we don’t mend our ways sooner or later there will be a catastrophe. On a personal level there are many things you can do to fight climate change. Even something as simple and basic as switching off the light and fans every time you leave your room can make a difference. Since, this is a tech blog I will share a few simple ways you can fight climate change while using your computer.
Help Us Better Understand Climate Change
Climateprediction.net or CPDN is a distributed computing project whose aim is to predict Earth’s climate till 2080 and analyse the accuracy of the predictions. In order to help, all you need to do is download and install their client software. It will run in the background and use your processor’s idle CPU time to analyse climate models. As of January 2009, there are more than 30,000 active participants from 150 countries with a total BOINC credit of more than 7 billion, reporting about 75 teraflops (75 trillion operations per second) of processing power (source: Wikipedia). Climateprediction.net also doubles up as a cool screensaver as it displays the climate of the world that is being calculated. However, if you are really serious about fighting climate change you should turn off your display instead of using a screensaver.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Edison is a free PC energy management tool by Verdiem. It fine tunes your system’s power efficiency and helps you reduce your carbon footprint. You need to simply set the slider to an appropriate level and watch Edison do the rest. The options offered by Edison are a lot more sophisticated than the Power Management options offered by Windows. The best thing about this software is the Estimated Annual Savings section which gives you an idea about the amount of difference you are making. Edison is available for Windows XP and Vista.
While Edison can help you in reducing your Carbon footprint, the best way to really make a difference is to simply switch off your computer when you are not using it (or at the very least use Hibernate instead of Standby).
Use Eco-friendly Font
As incredulous as that may sound, there is indeed an eco-friendly font. Ecofont basically removes parts of a letter while maintaining readability. According to them, in most cases this can save up to 20% of ink. While Ecofont is free to download and use a professional edition is available for business environments. Ecofont Professional isn’t a font. Instead it’s a complete application which works with your normal typeface and retains the document formatting.
Print Only What You Need
This one is a no-brainer. The best way to save ink as well as paper is to get rid of all the junk you don’t need. For example, while printing a webpage only print the main content and trim the flashy advertisements on navigational bars. There are a couple of plugins available for just this in Firefox and Internet Explorer. Alternatively you can also use a utility called GreenPrint World for formatting your content. However, this software is free only for home users, educational institutes and non-profit organisations.
Raise Money for the Environmental Defence Fund
Environmental Defence Fund is a non-profit environmental advocacy group which (among other things) works on raising awareness about Global Warming. If you are a Firefox user then you can help EDF by simply downloading and using the EDF Toolbar for Firefox. Every time you search the web through the toolbar, you would be raising money for EDF. Unfortunately, the EDF toolbar uses Yahoo! search engine which might be a major deterrent for many users.
This post is a part of Blog Action Day 2009