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Green Web Surfing

written by: •edited by: Bill Bunter•updated: 5/6/2010

Many initiatives have been taken to make the entire web surfing experience more green, i.e. eco-friendly. It may sound a bit strange to the uninitiated but being an environmentalist even while surfing the Internet is actually possible. In fact, most web surfers can do it.

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    The collective fight against global warming is increasingly gaining momentum around the world and one thing has become apparent — we need more practical and easy solutions to facilitate greater participation from people. As a result, many initiatives have been taken to make the entire web surfing experience more green, i.e. eco-friendly. It may sound a bit strange to the uninitiated but being an environmentalist even while surfing the Internet is actually possible. In fact, most web surfers can do it. Every web user can make his personal surfing process substantially more eco-friendly by incorporating any of the following:

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    Greener Google Browsing

    Some very novel ideas have been introduced to make the use of major search engines contribute indirectly to the cause of keeping our planet green. For example, Blackle.com offers a toned-down version of Google. This version uses a dark (almost black) background, which means that by using a duller display, the users are reducing their consumption of electricity. However, there is a strong debate on Is Blackle really Green. And Google also denies its energy friendly tone.

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    Being Green with Google & Yahoo

    Google and Yahoo search engines are also making efforts to be greener without encouraging the users to download other applications. How? Google has created a system wherein web developers who are willing to incorporate Google Search on their websites would have a small share in the advertising revenue. Hence, many of the green entrepreneurs have started to include Google Search within their sites to ensure that a steady flow of funds for green causes is generated from the shared advertising revenues.

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    Greener FireFox Surfing

    There has been a similar initiative taken for folks who surf by using FireFox. These users can easily make their surfing hours greener by installing the new InferKnow application, which is basically an add-on. It installs as an extension and when you surf with it, the cause of fighting global warming gets a contribution. How? This FireFox add-on takes out a small proportion of the revenue generated from ads displayed on webpages of online environment-oriented projects and diverts it towards eco-causes.

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    Being Green By Being Online

    One of the most talked-about green surfing tools that had been introduced was the Flock (the eco edition). It made surfers to make a significant contribution to the cause just by being online. It was named as the first comprehensive green browser. It was powered by Mozilla Firefox and used Yahoo’s search engine. It came fully loaded with some of the best online Green content that is available on the web.

    • It used to load the famous ‘Green’ page as soon as the browser was clicked-upon and the latest information from the world of environmentalism began to stream in.
    • The Refresh button was in the form of a ‘recycling’ symbol.

    Note: Flock has now discontinued its Eco Edition.

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    Other Green Surfing Efforts

    • GreenSeng.com — issues Renewable Energy Certificates as a way to make Google searches greener
    • Ecocho — every time 1000 searches are reached, they plant some trees to ensure that the carbon emissions are neutralized
    • EcoSearch.org — donates almost 100% of its profits from Google Search to various environmental-themed causes