Carbon Neutralizing Your Faceboook Use

Those of you who are Facebook users and also concerned about the environment should take note of a new application, CO2 Neutral Profile, that helps carbon-neutralize your Facebook use. It’s estimated that the average Facebook user generates over 131 grams of CO2 per day from using the site. Now, this application makess it easier to neutralize this CO2 emission and reduce your impact on the enivronment.

Whether or not you believe global warming is real, your use of Facebook results in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which does impact the environment long-term. Simply put, this is because most uses of electricity generate CO2 emissions somewhere down the line. So when you use any computer and visit any website, not just Facebook, there are associated emissions. With Facebook’s recent decision to coal-power their upcoming data center, it becomes increasingly important to reduce or completely carbon-neutralize our individual use of the site.

If you want to neutralize your CO2 emissions related to using Facebook, the CO2 Neutral Profile app helps. A small subscription of US$4/year goes to Zip CO2, who use the funds for climate-friendly initiatives that physically neutralize the equivalent in CO2 that you generate yearly, just from using Facebook.

This application’s developer indicates that your Facebook use is 100% neutralized as a result of your subscription payment. You should keep in mind that the figures given are based on average use. Still, this app makes it simple for those who are environmentally concerned, and a green badge can be displayed on your Facebook profile showing that you’re environmentally-minded. If you’re an influencer, you can invite your Facebook friends to join.

The Facebook app helps you subscribe, with payment, to ZipCO2, and then display the profile badge. But it is ZipCO2 that takes the environmental initiatives. Once you pay your subscription, ZipCO2, who are based in Denmark, buys CO2 quotas. The organization’s website says they only buy European quotas because “these are the most regulated and well-documented offsets available in the world.” All quotas purchased are cleared by the Danish Energy Agency. Investments are made in renewable energy projects.

The only tiny barrier I see here for widespread use of this great way to protect the environment, at least for most users, is that the PayPal payment page for subscriptions defaults to Danish. I’m not sure how many non-Danish speaking Facebook users will feel comfortable subscribing at even the low cost of US$4/yr when they can’t read the payment terms. I had to scan the page several times, and nearly gave up before finally finding the language/ country dropdown menu. I’m not entirely sure how PayPal’s developer API works, but it would be nice if a Facebook user’s default language (from profile information) could control the default langauge on the PayPal page. At the least, language could be a dropdown selection from the Facebook app.

Have you signed up for similar environmental efforts? How do you feel about projects like this, which try to neutralize the carbon emissions due to our daily use of electricity?

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