A few years back, being Green meant you participated in recycling programs, commuted to work on your bike when the mood struck, and considered purchasing a hybrid but balked after filling up your SUV for a mere $50.

Now, in 2008, Green, once a buzzword, is a member of the world’s lexicon where the environmental impact of an activity is hugely important. Too, with rising fuel and energy costs, going Green is not only an environmental choice but also a sound fiscal choice.

While the benefits, both environmental and fiscal, are quite lucid, public apathy for going Green has always been a problem, but, with the advent of Web 2.0, social networks have suddenly emerged driving participation in Green activities for thousands of users. An extremely compelling website I stumbled upon recently, bringing together thousands of environmental web users, is CarbonRally.com.

CarbonRally, a web-based activism platform, offers individuals and groups a fun, simple, and social way of creating measurable environmental change. However, unlike many environmental websites out there, CarbonRally.com provides users the opportunity to create “environmental challenges” where teams or individuals can compete against each other to maximize their carbon savings.

While CarbonRally certainly brings more fun into being environmental, the social network contained within the site is an environmental idea engine where user created challenges drive innovative ways to be Green. Who would have realized replacing just three of your light bulbs at home with Compact Fluorescent Bulbs would result in a reduction in carbon emissions by 2.1 lbs per day!

As I navigated the site, my thoughts drifted towards Green IT and how the Green movement has been embraced by global organizations. Many organizations are on the forefront of Green IT where PC virtualization, eco-friendly data centers, and power management techniques all have been implemented on the enterprise level. But, not much has been done to challenge large organizations to be Green.

While CarbonRally.com introduces the concept of communal responsibility of being Green on a very small scale, I believe organizations need to work together and challenge each other to become better global citizens in an effort to reduce carbon emissions. Like the users of CarbonRally.com, organizations need to take a cue from their customers and shareholders and actively change their usage habits and work towards being Green.

As more ideas are generated and energy usage and carbon emissions benchmarks are mandated by, not a governing body, but rather a community of environmentally responsible organizations, being Green will not be the exception but the norm.

For more information on Green IT and Green Computing, check out Wikipedia.

If you want to learn more about Green IT check out this story from ComputerWorld Magazine.

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Posted by  Madhu  on  9/19/2008  |  Permalink

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