Posts Tagged ‘environment’

Eco-Idea: Solar powered Bit-Stage

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

Yesterday was Liberation Day in The Netherlands. Because of Liberation Day (or ‘Bevrijdingsdag’ as we call it), there a lot of free open-air music festivals in parks all across the Netherlands to celebrate our liberty. Since the weather was awesome and there was free live music, I had to be there. The coolest thing I saw at the festival in Utrecht was not any artist in particular but this thing:

Solar powered Bit-Stage

What you are seeing right here is a DJ booth, including 4 speakers with good sound, on a car, all powered by solar panels! What a great eco-friendly idea! I like going to free parties, but often wonder about the effect or impact all these parties have on the environment. Especially parties in forests or in nature attended by a lot of eco-loving people. It always seemed a bit hypocritical to me to claim to love nature, yet cause such ecological ruckus.

This stage offers what seems to be an ‘eco-friendly’ option for parties and quite possibly carbon neutral. I also found two videos of the stage live in action yesterday at the festival. You can choose either funky or Balkan.

Apparently the car’s batteries can also be charged by pedaling. Cool!

More info here.

Plant a Tree with StumbleUpon on Earth Day!

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Wow! Probably my favourite webservice, StumbleUpon, is doing something incredible today.

For every thumbs up they get on their special Earth Day page they will donate money to the National Forest Foundation to plant trees! If you don’t want to sell your car or take any other drastic matters to help out the environment of the world we live in, then this is the least you can do, isn’t it? :wink:

So if you’re already a StumbleUpon user:

Click here and thumb it up!

If you’re not a StumbleUpon user, go get acquainted with StumbleUpon right now.

StumbleUpon Demonstration
StumbleUpon About Page

Sign up, go to the page, thumb it up, make the world a better place. Easy.

StumbleUpon can be addictive ;-)

Google Bans Ecocho on Earth Day

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Being a rather idealistic person, I’ve welcomed (with open arms) search services which try to make the world a better place. My homepage used to be My Eco Seek, but when I heard about Ecocho I switched. This search engine service allowed users to search using Yahoo! or Google and with the profit they get through sponsored ads, for every 1000 searches made, they plant two trees. Google put a stop to this though, on Earth Day, of all days.

The Internet and its effect on the environment

Research has found that the Internet and the digital technology industry are responsible for 2% of worldwide CO2 emissions, which is the same share as the airline industry. Being a growing phenomenom, in terms of its users and of its importance, it is great that there are more and more initiatives of websites becoming carbon neutral.

The Internet is a great medium for making the world a better place. There are so many places for activists to find each other and work together, such as or Rethos. Even Facebook can be utilised to find like-minded people through their Causes, Events and Groups functions. Nowadays our options to fly carbon neutral are increasing. Dutch airline KLM has such a service, but you can also use independent services such as Trees For Travel.

So the airline industry is busy trimming their CO2 outputs, slowly, but at least they’re making a start. Why not the internet? That’s what the founders of Ecocho must have been thinking when they came up with their concept.

New Search Engine Ecocho\'s logo

Google decides to stop Ecocho from using its technology

Cho Cho - Ecocho's mascot sad over Google's decisionEven though Ecocho had great results in their first weeks, possibly exceeding their expectations, can now only offer their visitors to search environmentally friendly using the Yahoo! search engine. Although I haven’t looked into their statistics, given the popularity of Google, I would guess that that was also the most picked option for using Ecocho.

So what has happened?

The Google AdSense team has found that Ecocho was offering incentives for users to perform searches and AdSense, one of Ecocho’s sources of income, does not allow sites to offer “monetary or non-monetary” incentives to users. This includes paying users for clicks, or donating the profit to charity.

Ecocho would make money every time somebody clicked on the Google ads (or sponsored search results) they would see in their search results, but Ecocho has never encouraged users to click ads. They actually met the Google AdSense team in Australia before launching and they got two thumbs up, but apparently now they have been turned down (both the thumbs as well as Ecocho).

For more information, look here.

So what to do?

Ecocho asked users to " target="_blank">email Google AdSense about their decision and one of their users set up an email that people could send out.

Dear Adsense Support,

I am one of the many users that frequent, a site recently denied the use of Google search technologies. I must express my disappointment with this event. However disappointed, I understand the value of the specific point of policy that is in conflict: “AdSense does not currently permit sites that offer monetary or non-monetary incentives to users to perform searches on click on ads.” I also understand the the argument regarding the “inability to verify the accuracy of any charitable claims and need to protect the user and advertiser experiences.”

This is equitable and overall good policy practice. I do, however, wish to implore the altruistic nature and the user-demand for such a service. Due to these reasons I ask, with a voice that echoes many others, that the time needed to ensure and verify the legitimacy of this service is taken. We are confident you will find Ecocho to be completely accurate and genuine.

We respectfully ask that proper attention is given to the wishes of the Ecocho community and that a viable agreement with the staff be made promptly.

Ecocho and Google User

This should be emailed to .

Google says they’re committed to “helping to build a clean energy future.” Yet they ban Ecocho, a legit environmentally friendly service, on Earth Day of all days – while having an Earth Day logo on their frontpage!

Yet they don’t seem to be taking action against some services (which I won’t name or list, but you can find it in the comments here) that do encourage users to use their search engine for personal gain. Ecocho shares its fate with another ‘charity’ search engine called Aidgle.

Here’s something else the people from Ecocho had to say:

We asked if we could get the Google Adsense premium feed, but were told that they would only consider this once we reached several million searches per month. In the mean time they said they were happy for us to use Google custom search.

So obviously we are puzzled as to the sudden change of mind of Google.

Could this… possibly… be about money?

Google, think about your image.

People, share the news please using the applet below and don’t forget to email Google!

URGENT ALERT – climate-wrecking at Bali

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

I just signed an emergency petition trying to help save the climate talks going on right now, and it would be great if you could join me. The most important global warming meeting since Kyoto is happening right now in Bali. 192 countries are meeting to discuss what comes next – but they’re in crisis.

Negotiators were nearing agreement on cuts by 2020–a step which the scientists say is needed to avert the worst ravages of global warming, and which will help to bring China and the developing world onboard. But then the news broke: the US, Canada and Japan rejected any mention of such cuts.

We can’t let three governments hold the world to ransom, by vetoing a real solution to the climate crisis. Bali is the opportunity we’ve been waiting for to start working toward real climate action, and we can’t let it pass by.

The campaign will be delivered direct to summit delegates, through stunts and in media advertisements, so our voices will actually be heard. But we need a lot of us, fast, to join in if we’re going to make a difference. Just click on the link to add your own name now:


PS Avaaz, the organisation hosting the petition, are very serious — they host the Fossil Awards held by hundreds of NGOs at the summit

Blue Man Group – Earth To Humanity

Saturday, November 24th, 2007

Can you hear?

Kappen met Kolen (Dutch)

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

Interessant mailtje in m’n inbox gekregen van Niels:

Beste mensen,Belachelijk dat we in Nederland waar veelal vooruitdenkende mensen wonen, 5 kolencentrales erbij krijgen!

Van deze 5 centrales zal evenveel emissie vrijkomen als van alle auto’s in Nederland samen! De opgewekte energie is alleen om te exporteren. Je vraagt je sterk af waarom we ons niet sec focussen op duurzame energie. Ik verbaas me over de kortzichtigheid van politici en ga aan hun verstand twijfelen (zo ik dat niet al op veel punten deed).

Kappen met kolen

Taking Action Against Climate Change, the best choice

Saturday, October 6th, 2007

In the whole climate change debate (it’s ridiculous it has to be a debate), I decided that the possible cost of NOT taking action, would FAR outweigh the cost of taking action NOW. Actually, what would be so bad about preventing climate change? Living in a cleaner, healthier world? The cities wouldn’t be so filled with smog, there would be less polution, no more oil wars… Sounds a lot better.

Anyway, the following video argues the same thing, but in a way that’s a bit more digestible than my elaborate theories.

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