When we think of environmental damage control it’s often in terms of what we can stop doing outside the walls of our home or office. Stop littering, stop polluting the air, and so on. However, there are ways to help save the planet that don’t even require you to leave your desk. All you need are your fingers and a keyboard.
Use Amazon Smile
The giant online retail store is not just for convenient shopping. Amazon started its Smile campaign in 2013 as a social experiment of sorts. Amazon will donate a portion of each purchase to a charity of your choice. If you sign up for Amazon Smile, there are a wealth of charities you can choose from to support with every one of your purchases. One example is Cool Earth Action, an organization dedicated to protecting rainforests and combating climate change, but there are tons of other eco-charities on Amazon’s list.
Use Ecosia To Browse
Ecosia is a search engine, like Google or Yahoo, and one you can use in place of Chrome, Safari, or other browsers. As with other search engines, Ecosia shows ads in your search results. What differentiates Ecosia however, is that they spend that ad revenue on planting trees. So, every time you search for something, you’re helping save the environment. People generally make 3 to 4 searches a day. Ecosia has made a pledge to plant a tree in over 35 countries after every 50 searches. The average Ecosia user helps plant around 14–18 trees per year. Visit their website to see how you can get started.
Set Your Desktop to “Hibernate”
Laptops go into sleep or “hibernate” mode in order to conserve power while remaining on standby. Desktops can be a different story; the average PC/monitor combos use over 100 watts of power at idle, making this a big waste of energy. If you leave your computer on for 12 hours overnight, that’s an extra 1.2kWh of energy you didn’t have to use. One recommendation for desktop users is to set screen-off time to three minutes, and your sleep/hibernate time to five if your operating system will allow that.
Tab for a Cause
Like other browsers, Tab for a Cause will serve you ads every time you open a new browser tab, but with one difference. You’re awarded “hearts” which you can then give to a charity of your choice. Tab for a Cause then donates their ad revenue to these charities in proportion to the number of hearts they receive from all users. Eden Reforestation Projects, a climate charity that works with local communities to reforest on a massive scale, is one of the charities Tab for a Cause supports. You can also spread your “hearts” among other groups doing work to help save our planet.