Three widgets to measure and help your ‘sustainability bottom line’

12 08 2008

A dispatch.

You run an sustainable organization, receive referrals from the Internet and want a brand that’s memorable. You also want to automate your web traffic.

Enter the green widget – a ‘brand confirming’ tool you can’t overlook. If you have a brand, says Stefan Juhl, a widget will only confirm (or make others more aware of) your brand values. So, what is a widget anyway? Erick Schonfeld explains and Max Gladwell defines the role of a widget as one of the many tools a social (change) media practitioner can employ.

There are a lot of environmental widgets out there to share with your stakeholders and customers but the ones that ‘stick’ serve a purpose. Either they organize primary data, present the information in a new way that is customised to the customer’s needs or serve to confirm your audience’s brand (e.g. their website widget shows how much C02 they offset that year). Ideally, it’s all three.

And so, after scouring the web, the awards for the widgets with the greatest ‘coolness factor’ and the ones you can actually use to measure and improve your organization’s sustainability bottom line go to…

Best C02 tracking widget: C02 Stats
Who: Yale and Harvard research whizzes Dr. Alexander Wissner-Gross and Timothy M. Sullivan.

“In 2007, for the first time in history,” their front page site video narrates, “the total carbon footprint of the IT industry exceeded that of the entire aviation industry.” Here is a widget that tracks visitors to web sites, calculates the sites’ carbon emissions and offsets the lot. Launched in October 2007, Earth2Tech states that this little widget has grown to more than 1 million unique visitors. You can sign up or get this free C02 stats widget for blogger or typepad.

Best use of local activism widget: the Mile Long Petition Meter.
Who: Appalachian Voices

Once you put this widget on your site, you can clearly see the support for the movement for clean energy in Virginia climb…

Best personal carbon footprint widget: The Cool Climate Calculator
Who: the Berkeley Institute of the Environment

Calculate your carbon footprint from transportation, housing, food, goods and services. Then measure yourself up to others in your city, region, or to households with similar size and income.

Green Printer’s “Eco-Calculator” widget, with sources from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), tracks how much greenhouse gas, trees and wastewater you can save by switching to eco-friendly paper products. Simply cut and paste the Eco-Calculator widget code to your blog, website or Facebook page and watch the environmental savings pile up.

Green Printer is an eco-friendly printing company that carries attractive, eco-friendly and affordable recycled paper. GP helps customers like the University of British Columiba, Best-Western, ReMax, Lush and Aveda go – and stay – green.



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