On Earth Day in 2008 we launched Carbon Grove — it’s an e-mail reminder service that helps you remember to complete carbon reducing tasks. A little virtual tree grows every time you complete your task. And thanks to our inaugural sponsor, Internet Explorer, over 10,000 people not only grew their virtual trees for at least six weeks, but the same number of actual trees were planted. Thank you Microsoft.
And while Microsoft chose to make Carbon Grove a special perk for Internet Explorer users, now that their sponsorship has ended, we’re opening up Carbon Grove to everyone – Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari users can all use the site now. You can still sign up for reminders, and watch your virtual tree grow. The added bonus of having a real tree planted in your honor will have to wait for a bit until we find a new sponsor to cover the cost of the trees (let us know if you’re interested). But until then, you can feel good that even just the carbon reducing activities you’re doing every week are having impact all on their own.
Thank you Microsoft for your sponsorship and planting all those trees. Thanks everyone who used the service over the past year. And thanks in advance to everyone new who can now try Carbon Grove. Enjoy!
For the third year in a row, I’m proud to say that Jackson Fish Market has offset its carbon emissions with the help of Carbon Fund.
And now, as is our annual tradition, let the hating in the comment thread commence.
In addition, IE users, feel free to check out our Carbon Reduction reminder service — Carbon Grove.
In keeping with this week’s mood board theme at Jackson Fish, I’d love to share with you the inspiration for Carbon Grove. If you haven’t been to Carbon Grove yet, it’s a site that let’s you sign up for reminders for small things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. Users get weekly e-mail reminders that include a link to a virtual tree they planted. Each time they visit their tree, they can watch it grow. Sometimes, little indigenous creatures appear next to the tree .
To start the process of designing Carbon Grove, there were many elements to think about. What do the trees, animals, and forest look like? How do you transition between the quiz to the forest picker and tree picker? What’s the forest browsing experience like? And many mood boards later, we arrived at a concept we liked. This idea where you are in an old Victorian museum. There is fancy Victorian wallpaper, cast iron and brass signage. As you walk alongside the walls of this place, you can see vintage travel posters and ultimately, a magical watercolor painting of a forest!
Top Row: Dover Publications Victorian art motifs, watercolor painting, screenshot from Okami video game, victorian frame detail. Second row: more vintage wall decor, Dover motif, old book on botanical specimens. Bottom row: cool home library with beautiful wainscoting, vintage fruit crate labels, and vintage travel posters.
OK. Well, it wasn’t quite a vacation, but thanks to a lot of hard work by Walter and Jenny, our friends Karin and Debbie, more friends at Glyph, as well as Shola and all the folks on the Internet Explorer team at Microsoft as well as MSFT folks in Germany, France, and Poland, Carbon Grove is now available in multiple languages – French, German, Polish, and (still) English.
I’ll admit it’s been awhile since I’ve been close to the details of localizing software and let’s just say it was bracing. That said, we’re through the weeds, and the site is (hopefully) now even more broadly appealing.
Even cooler news is that the #1 question we get now has a great answer. The folks on the Internet Explorer team are now planting real trees for every virtual tree that reaches six weeks of maturity. So now Carbon Grove helps you reduce your carbon footprint with handy reminders, and the folks at Microsoft are pitching in by planting real trees as well. Cool.
Check it out.
Since January we’ve been working hard on our third Jackson Fish experience. Today, on Earth Day, we’re proud to release Carbon Grove™.
Carbon Grove lets you sign up for reminders for small things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. Every time you respond to your reminders you can watch your own virtual tree (choose from nine species in three forests) grow a little bit. If you keep at it, local wildlife may even visit your tree. Climate change is a problem that affects everyone on our planet. As is often the case with problems of this magnitude, it’s hard to feel like one person can make a difference. In reality however, every little bit helps.
A special word of thanks to Carbon Grove’s inaugural sponsor – the folks on the Internet Explorer team at Microsoft. They were eager to create a special experience for their IE users as well as show one small piece of their commitment to the environment. Not only is Internet Explorer the exclusive way to take advantage of Carbon Grove, but Microsoft’s Silverlight technology helped us make browsing the three forests a neat experience.
We’d love for you to check it out and plant your own tree. Your feedback and comments are welcome of course. Thanks for giving it a moment of your time if you get a chance.