Having a coffee break with my research colleagues – all working on a well-known Green Campus – we discussed the various instances of the ”green” phenomenon. There is green purchasing, green supply, and green trust, among others. More and more people, as well as businesses, are aware that we are running short of natural resources and are responsible for changing our consumption patterns.
But how about one of the opposite trends: ever-increasing mobile and networked communication with a multitude of devices we are armed with, to stay connected, exchange ideas, share experiences, establish and maintain communities? The benefits of the social Web are various – I have also spent 10 years investigating them from both individual and organizational perspective – but we have dedicated much less effort to study the environmental effects of our advances in communication technology.
As a starting point, you might want to check the Nature article (2011) on how ICTs affect the environment on various levels, not only as that consisting of the infrastructure and devices.
Personally, I would like to see much more discussion on this novel issue – Green Internet. For online community specialists, it would above all concern the tools and services used to connect with other people.
We started solving the problem with the means of humour.
- Firstly, there is a need for Green Twitter – also known as Gritter. With Gritter, you have a great potential to increase your green peer influence. When you are sending Green Tweets – greets, that is – you may only use 70 characters.
- Green Face -book. Again, an overdose of humblebrags, happy sunny days and forthcoming family trips? In the age of the Green Internet, you should immediately switch to an online networking service where everyone is green with envy.
- Toilet roll phone. This is a classic to stay in touch with your friends and relatives, at least when they live nearby. You save the environment by using the rolls over and over again, instead of throwing them away. The line connecting the toilet rolls should be twined from grass, linen or reed.
- Regarding operating systems, Green Internet is best supported by Windows Green Screen. It is like the famous blue screen, but didn’t work even a minute earlier.
And of course there is always the overall Green Mobile Lifestyle: disconnecting yourself. But perhaps it is most realistic to those, who live in a self-supporting ecosystem within the agricultural domain.
I guess now it is time for me to switch off this computer.