This is a bottom up approach, empowering people to make their own decisions.
Launched two months ago by Dubliners David Hayes and Peter O’Brien, the Edenbee application invites users to set goals aimed at reducing their CO2 emissions.
‘It’s simple,’ says O’Brien, ‘you set a goal, share it with friends and update your info as and when you achieve it.’
Edenbee links users to companies that can help them achieve their goals - affiliate companies so far include Ecotricity, Ethical Superstore and Patagonia clothing.
‘Our brand relies on us doing the due diligence on every company we work with to ensure their ethical and environmental credentials are sound,’ says O’Brien, ‘and 50 per cent of any commission we receive goes towards a non-profit cause nominated by users.’
So far, you can direct funds to organisations such as WWF, Amnesty International and Find Your Feet.
Less talk, more action
‘We looked at all the causes and initiatives out there and thought there wasn’t much to do with individual action,’ says O’Brien.
‘Dealing with climate change isn’t just about donating money to charities, it’s about taking personal action and we think Edenbee combines both.’
One of the goals suggested on the site is to ‘call for a strong climate treaty at Copenhagen by signing the tcktcktck.org petition.’ So far, 178 Edenbees have signed up.
But O’Brien is realistic about the chances of Edenbee influencing the political agenda.
‘It looks more and more like Copenhagen is going to be a failure,’ he says, ‘obviously there is a limit to what people like us can achieve but our belief is that individual action must come at the centre of any response to climate change.’
‘Governments are letting us down repeatedly on climate change, this is a bottom up approach, empowering people to make their own decisions,’ he adds.
Initially, Hayes and O’Brien experimented with a website where users calculated their own emissions and tracked their progress in reducing them.
‘Inputting information to calculate emissions acted as a real barrier to participation whereas our Facebook application gives us access to 65 million people…when simple and user-friendly emissions calculators are developed, we will make them available to our users.’
If you are a Facebook user sign up to the Ecologist goal by logging into your Facebook account and start global swarming in 4 clicks:
1) Click on http://apps.facebook.com/edenbee/
2) Click on ‘Find out more about green issues with the Ecologist’
3) Click ‘Do This’
4) Click ‘Allow’
50% of any revenue Edenbee generates through its affiliation with the Ecologist will go to Find Your Feet, a charity that promotes sustainable farming methods in the less-industrialised world.