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How broadband can reduce your carbon footprint
By now, most of us are aware that the UK, along with the rest of the world needs to look at its carbon footprint and help to tackle climate change.
There are many ways consumers can help. For example, by buying low energy light bulbs, recycling and leaving appliances switched off when not in use.
By using broadband, consumers also have the chance to reduce carbon emissions. For example, through a broadband connection you could do the following:
- Bank on-line. Save on trips to the bank and request paperless statements if available.
- Shop on-line. You can save yourself some shopping trips and reduce carbon output as a result.
- Work from home, if possible. Some employers let their employees work from home for a few days a week. Most businesses report better productivity as a result and employees can get a better work-life balance.
This is just a selection of the things you could do. The key is anything that saves on making unnecessary trips from the home or office.
Just by using broadband, small businesses can also help the environment. Videoconferencing facilities make it easy to hold meetings and communicate with colleagues anywhere in the world. This helps to reduce air pollution from cars and air travel.
Consumers can also look at using greener ISPs. Those that appear to be the most active in this department include BT, Eclipse and greenISP.
BT pledged in early 2007 to reduce its carbon footprint by 80% over the next nine years. They took out the world’s largest green energy contract with nPower and British Gas, which BT has said is already helping to reduce it’s carbon emissions.
Eclipse are the most recent ISP to commit to climate change. They worked with climate change organisation Carbon Neutral Company to analyse their carbon footprint. Eclipse state on their website that they have taken measures such as installing video conferencing facilities, using low energy lighting and providing home workers with their own Teleworker broadband service.
Another provider greenISP looks like the perfect choice for an ethical ISP. They have solar powered offices, use public transport and even plant a tree for all new customers.
We asked three other popular ISPs Carphone Warehouse, Tiscali and Plusnet to comment on reducing carbon emissions and any plans they have. Out of the three, only Plusnet responded.
Neil Armstrong, Product Director at Plusnet told SeekBroadband:
“As a company that runs predominantly on-line, we have always employed a policy of on-line sales which avoids wasting printed materials and don’t print millions of CDs or promotional handouts. Internally we have policies in place to enforce recycling and power-saving green initiatives wherever possible.
“As producers of packaging we are required to recycle as a business according to the WEEE directive 2006. But by sending out our routers in recyclable packaging we can encourage our customers to do the same.”
So just by using broadband, we can help to reduce our carbon footprint. Although there only appear to be a few at the moment, consumers can also choose a greener ISP for broadband. After the most recent example set by Eclipse, hopefully more will follow.