Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to reduce your carbon footprint — because your planet is in trouble, and not just because Al Gore says so. The good news is that we don't have to go all No Impact Man in order to make a difference. Through the innovative new website Carbonrally, you can join thousands of others across the country and world in pitching in for a greener world, one small action at a time.
At The Daily Green we've always believed that motivated, empowered individuals can make a real difference, no matter how large the problems may seem (and believe us, we know issues like global warming and species loss can seem ginormous). It's not the only way to change — political action and international cooperation certainly play a role as well — but good things often do come in small packages. Although there have been various web-based carbon calculators for years (including one linked from our site), Carbonrally takes it a step further, providing more guidance and encouragement for action.
For example, the recent "Too Cool" challenge asks those who use air conditioning to try turning it up by two degrees for a week. Carbonrally points out that such a minor adjustment will reduce your CO2 emissions by 5.4 lbs for the week. Think that doesn't sound like much? Know that 2,057 people have already reduced CO2 emissions by 5.17 tons just by completing this challenge. That's equal to turning off the electricity of seven homes for about one month!
Carbonrally makes taking and following challenges a cinch, and each one is supported by facts that explain the details of what you're doing, provide links for further reading, and divulge the math behind the challenge numbers (with links to sources). The format is fun and inviting, and the geo-tied map of challenge participants is a cool feature (apparently they're serious about saving money on AC in Florida right now!). Challenges range from the easy to more difficult, and pack a range of impacts from small to considerable.
It's clear that Carbonrally hopes to take advantage of the addictive nature of online participation, both in terms of seeing results and engaging fellow users, with a healthy dose of competition mixed in. That's because, in addition to creating individual accounts, users can join teams, which can then combine their carbon-fighting power and try to best other teams. There are corporate teams (NBC), band-led teams (OTEP), teams of friends and even polar bears. Our biggest rival, however, is the team from sister publication Seventeen Magazine.
We're thrilled that so many teens are so excited about going green, but we also don't want to get totally blown out by our friends. So we need your help!
Let's help each other help the Earth, one small step at a time! Get started with the challenge below, browse other ideas, or even suggest your own.
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.