Friday, March 28, 2008

Away from trees...

After a few green blogs, I will go back to technology. Well the reason is simple, our business does require some good online marketing, and a decent looking website, but technically complete website was required. I will describe a two things that has helped us and might bring some traffic to our site in the future, joomla and meebo.

Joomla is a content management system, ok in simple words it helps you create a website. You need no technical knowledge, unless you want to do add something on your own to joomla. If it is for a simple clean website, this is a perfect tool to start with. Most importantly it's open source and free !!!!! All you need is little experience of using internet and a browser. Well it sounds simple, but we did have our set of problems. We needed a template of our own, graphics of our own. Thankfully we had our resources for these.

Secondly, meebo a great instant messaging web 2.0 tool. Just get into meebo and you can chat with any instant message account, anywhere, without installing anything. Now how did it help us? Meebo had released two great products, "meebo me" and "meebo rooms". We just added a meebome widget to our contact page, and added a meebo room as well. Check these out and you will know what I'm saying. Overall meebo is amazing. It does bring some problems with it.
1) If you have noticed it doesn't require a login. Now it's a toy for pranksters !!!!
2) Few visited our page during testing phase, they dropped a offline message, and probably forgot to drop their name or mail id. They would probably mailed us if we didn't have a "meebo me" in our page. We are just looking to find a solution for this problem without driving away the visitors from messaging us.

Finally thanks to treeless-squirrel for their amazing video.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A new economy of carbon

As the prices of different commodities are going up, something that would change the world economy is being sprouted by the world leaders and that is the Carbon market. In years to come the Carbon emissions will be a main factor that determines the prices of everything that is being traded. So when the word "carbon" is being given a solid shape what are we doing ?

The answer is just simple, find a business in the word "carbon". Many companies are being setup which just handle the trading of carbon. As many global giants from different fields are being increasingly held accountable for the amount carbon they emit, it is necessary to find a solution to calculate,reduce and then nullify their green house gas emissions. The reduction and nullifying is together called as carbon offsetting. Now the other question is how does a organization offset it's carbon emission ?

  • Switch to green energy source. If they can't do it at the source, do it somewhere else
  • Invest in carbon sinks, the only known carbon sink (luckily for us) are trees.
Now when large corporations are responsibly offsetting their carbon emissions through accountable firms like carbonneutral and using mechanisms like CDM and VCS, we as individuals have a much simpler solution and costs much lower, Just find a ethical offsetting company and plant trees through them, whether offsetting your long drive or offsetting your flight trees a prefect way to do so.

Do you think offsetting is a solution to all the problems ? Well the answer is NO. Carbon Offsetting comes only after you reduce your emissions. The above systems works well but not under voluntary basis, it works well only when the "Carbon money" is part of the main economy as carbon taxes. But in India we have a long way to go, first we have to pay our taxes !!!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The CDM forestry complexity

We were looking at different marketing techniques to promote forestry project, we also looked at carbon trading through forestry projects as an option to promote agroforestry among small farmers. Gradually we realized one thing, CDM, carbon trading,CER, these buzz words were not a farmers cup of tea. Here are few reasons.

  • The technicality is too hard for anybody to understand let alone the farmers
  • The project registration is fee it too high, it might be much higher than credits you get. Just check the data here.
  • The credits are much lower than energy projects since forestry in most cases will be Temporary CERs.
  • Land requirements are pretty complex
  • The consultant charges are too high!!!!! Yes you need one.
  • Most of all CDM is governed by National government... You don't need a better reason to back off. Here is the Indian version. If you are interested in a forestry project, first thing you will notice in this website - There is no forestry project section !!!!! But luckily you can find one such project registered.
Well if you have been looking around for a while about forestry-CDM projects, you might have come across the Gudibanda Taluk in Karnataka. This project was carried out by, the website of carbonneutral says, the project had initially failed due to drought in the area and some replantation had taken place. This will be a good example if somebody wants to start doing such a thing.

So you own a waste land in your home town and what to do forrestion for carbon credits, you may have to think twice. The initial investment would be too high and unaffordable, rather a simple aggroforestry would work wonders for you or you may end looking for other voluntary carbon standards.