Offset Mode, a new Chrome extension from Tree Canada, helps educate consumers about the massive environmental cost of internet use — and enables them to take instant action through micro-donations
OTTAWA, ON, April 13, 2022 /CNW/ – Everything we do online generates carbon emissions, from sending an email to joining a video meeting to streaming a movie. In fact, the internet — with its 4.66 billion users — is a bigger polluter than the airline industry, and by 2025, those emissions are expected to increase by 200%. That’s why Tree Canada is launching Offset Mode, a new digital tool designed to change the way we think about the internet.
Launched just in time for Earth Day, Offset Mode is a free Google Chrome extension that calculates the carbon impact of your personal browsing, downloading, and streaming habits, without storing any data. It then invites you to offset exactly what you use through micro-donations to Tree Canada’s National Greening Program, a reforestation and carbon compensation initiative that helps to sequester millions of tons of carbon pollution.
Offset Mode, which can be used anywhere in the world, uses data from carbonfootprint.org and the International Energy Agency to calculate your carbon footprint — and how much it would cost to neutralize your emissions — based on the type of energy available in your region. For example, how much does it cost to offset the impact of streaming a 3GB movie? It depends. In South Africa, where electricity mostly comes from coal-fired plants, it costs about 15 cents Canadian, whereas in Switzerland — where hydroelectric and nuclear energy are the norm — it costs only a third of one cent. In Canada and the U.S., Offset Mode further breaks down costs by province and state, demonstrating the range and impact of local energy sources. (That 3GB movie costs about 11 cents in Alberta and 14 cents in Kentucky, compared to 0.25 cents in PEI and 1.26 cents in Idaho.)
“The climate impact of digital emissions is a major issue, and becoming an exponentially greater one with the growing popularity of cryptocurrency, working from home, and the metaverse,” says Danielle St-Aubin, CEO of Tree Canada. “Offset Mode offers a new way to raise awareness about the climate impacts of our online habits and how planting trees can help to mitigate these impacts. It may translate to just a few cents or a few dollars a day, depending on where you are, but by paying attention to the issue, we can see how it all adds up.”
ABOUT TREE CANADA
Tree Canada is the only national non-profit organization dedicated to planting and nurturing trees in rural and urban environments, in every province across the country. We help to grow Canada’s tree canopy through our programs, research, and engagement efforts and by offering grants to communities and schools. We are thought-leaders and capacity-builders, collaborating with a network of industry experts, academics, and other non-profits to deepen community knowledge and help municipalities plan and sustain local canopy. Together with our partners and sponsors, we have planted more than 84 million trees.
SOURCE Tree Canada
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