August 21, 2008

Green Tip: Carbon footprint calculator for online meetings and virtual classrooms

Footprints Carbon Calculator for online meetings and virtual classroomsI just learned about the coolest carbon footprint calculator - it's a plugin to Acrobat Connect Pro that shows each attendee how much CO2 was saved. Just download the Footprints free trial and upload into a Connect share pod and you are ready to track.

Here is some more info from the website:

Footprints calculates the approximate location of each meeting attendee automatically based on their IP Address and uses this to determine how far they would have had to travel to the Host location if the meeting had not been held virtually. It then calculates the CO2 savings as well as the financial savings that have been generated as a result of using an Adobe Connect Pro Meeting. Footprints is fully customizable - pick your corporate colors for the theme and include your corporate logo on the pod to show how serious your organization is about reducing its Carbon Footprint. Attendees see their personal savings for this event, the collective savings for the entire meeting and a running tally of the total savings your organization has generated across all meetings that included Footprints.

Thanks Chris for sending along!



August 8, 2008

Green Tip: Let elearners telecommute

If you have a learning management system (LMS), you can take advantage of its tracking features in a way that helps reduce the learning carbon footprint. Allow learners to take the training from home - you know when they are online and if they accessed or passed the course. Does it really matter if they 'elearn' from home or from work? Plus, it could have a very positive impact on learners who have to commute long distances. Telecommuting helps the environment and gives employees more control over their life, especially if they are given a choice. It doesn't work for everyone, but when it's possible, it can make a difference.


August 6, 2008

Top 10 Green Blogs

We have an internal sustainability email list at Adobe for informal discussions and sharing. I asked members what green blogs they read. With the responses and my own favorite blogs, I came up with a list of 10 blogs that cover many sustainable topics. To get started thinking about sustainable practices around your eLearning, take a look at these blogs and the additional links they offer:

  • Treehugger - is probably still the most widely read/known green blog covering all kinds of topics from general environmental issues to legislation and new technologies.
  • Environmental Graffiti - has topics from toilet trees to the terror blob in Venezuela! They also posted the top 10 environmental blogs online last year - you'll see several of the blogs listed here.
  • ecogeek - is a great blog covering a lot of technology and business.
  • Cleantech Blog - mostly covers clean technologies and next gen energy.
  • - offers articles and daily blog entries on issues, progress and initiatives worldwide.
  • - has a design focus and unique stories you might not find anywhere else.
  • Environment360 - detailed reports, opinions, analyses, and interviews (you can listen to the one Michael Pollan) by the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
  • Triplepundit - offers a wide range of topics and has some great nuggets. They just wrote about Go Green Tube for green videos.
  • Homegrown Evolution - not so much of a business blog but helpful for you at home with tips on gardening and sustainable micro-farming.
  • Green Car Congress - is about mobility and mostly new car related technologies. Might be helpful for your trainers that have to drive a lot.


Also check out Environmental News Network and ClimateBiz - both getting you the latest news in the's newsletter GreenBuzz

I recommend signing up for's newsletter called GreenBuzz.


Please post your own favorite green sites and blogs in the comments.

Thanks Jeff, Chris, and Rob for sending your favorites.



July 29, 2008

Green eLearning - Tips and best practices

I am starting a new category on Green eLearning in my blog and over the next few weeks, I will post several tips that can help streamline workflows and reduce learning footprint (the nice thing: it also reduces cost).

As part of this blog entry series, I would like to highlight organizations that have successfully implemented sustainable strategies in their learning practices. Please submit your green learning stories in the comments field below. I am looking especially for success stories with achieved cost savings and CO2 reductions as well as new hardware that helped meet your goals.

So, here is my first tip:

What's your learning footprint?

learning footprint calculatorThe first step in reducing your learning footprint is knowing how much CO2 you or your group actually generate. Luckily, there are plenty of calculators available online that help you estimate your learning footprint - check out

If you want to go a bit deeper and more detailed, try the following links:

  • to calculate flight emissions.
  • Conservatree to calculate how many trees you use e.g.

    1 tree makes 16.67 reams of copy paper or 8,333.3 sheets.

  • Environmental Defense Fund's paper calculator which also gives you info on how many gallons of waste water are produced.
  • MIT Design Advisor to calculate your specific training facility emissions.
  • I haven't yet found a good calculator for hotels but provides an estimate of 44lbs/night. I believe it's rather on the low side since merely having a towel washed is already .5lb and many hotels have the room AC set to 68 degrees in the summer, keep all the lights on, and have the TV running before you even arrive ...
  • Climate Savers Computing Initiative to estimate your computer footprint
    From the U.S. PC Energy Report 2007: 1 PC wastes 635.1 kWh x 1.45 lbs or 920.89 lbs of CO2 emissions per year.

If you have more good links specifically for elearning or office carbon footprint calculations, please submit the URLs with a short description via the comments.