Just a Click Away

By Scheer, Roddy | E Magazine, November-December 2001 | Go to article overview

Just a Click Away


Scheer, Roddy, E Magazine


New Websites Help the Computer-Bound Support Green Causes

Web surfers can take a stand for the environment without leaving their desks or opening their wallets. A new crop of websites allows visitors to help a wide range of worthy green causes merely by clicking the mouse button.

How does it work? Typically, corporate sponsors pledge money every time visitors click a given page or button within certain sites. In return, the companies receive banner ad exposure, links back to their own sites and a dose of good publicity

At EcologyFund, more than 100,000 visitors each month dick to donate sponsors' money to protect wilderness, plant trees and reduce pollution. Since the site's launch, visitors have enabled the purchase of more than 6,000 acres of threatened wilderness in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Africa, the Amazon Basin, Patagonia and Scotland. EcologyFund says it preserves 187 square feet of land and saves two pounds of carbon dioxide per visitor every day.

In all, EcologyFund users protect more land in more places every week than any other site. "The success of EcologyFund shows that people care about the environment," says site founder Tim Kunin. "Unfortunately, we're in no danger of running out of wilderness that is in urgent need a of protection."

Click to Save Species

Care2, an environmental portal site featuring content, commerce and community offerings tied to a wide range of environmental issues, runs three successful "click-to-donate" programs focusing on endangered species protection and rainforest land preservation. Care2's Race for the Big Cats, for instance, has helped protect more than 16,000 square miles of key habitat for endangered tigers, jaguars and snow leopards in conjunction with the Wildlife Conservation Society. Meanwhile, Care2 has teamed up with the Nature Conservancy for its Race for the Rainforest, raising more than $100,000 to protect nearly 1,500 acres of rainforest. Participants in Care2's races can track their visits graphically to learn how much of an impact they or their friends have over time. Current sponsors include Nature Valley Granola, Sterling Planet and First USA Bank.

"Care2's races are a unique opportunity for individuals to help the environment every day and measure their progress," says Randy Paynter, Care2's founder and CEO. "We believe that getting people to take small daily steps helps them to feel more environmentally responsible.

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