Facebook: How Big Is Their Carbon Footprint?

24 08 2012

Some people may think that working out the carbon footprint of something is simple. However, there are lots of different variables to consider and there can be contributions from things which you wouldn’t have even thought to include in your calculations. The idea of this piece is to give you a sense of the scale that Facebook operates on, and therefore just how big their carbon footprint could be when you consider all the angles.

As of February 2012, Facebook had 845 million users spending an average of 20 minutes per visit on their site. Impressive numbers, thus a lot of carbon emissions. But, that doesn’t cover how many times a day that they visit their profile, and doesn’t separate the people like me, who spend all of 10 seconds on there, multiple times a day, from the people who can spend a whole afternoon playing Farmville.

If you want to consider each user’s footprint individually, we have to venture into the land of averages. Your average desktop computer, plus your monitor, will run at 214 watts, which is 0.214 kWH (kilowatts an hour). Once you’ve spent a long while with a calculator and pulled out most of your hair, you can use your maths skills (and Google) to work out that a 20 minute stint on Facebook releases approximately 0.1 lbs of CO2 into the atmosphere. Seems tiny? Wait a minute. If we multiply that number by the amount of users, that is 84,500,000 lbs of CO2 per visit.

That figure is only an estimate; different areas of the world use different forms of energy which are more efficient, and smaller devices obviously use less electricity, which will create less of the greenhouse gases.

The other thing that needs to be taken into account is how much electricity Facebook as a business uses, as that also contributes to their carbon footprint. Their offices in Palo Alto and the data centres which they use to house their servers all need energy in order to run, so that Facebook can be live at all times.

In January 2010, Facebook announced that it would be building a new data centre in Prineville, Oregon, which would be the new home to their servers. The building would be 147,000 square feet in size and the complex would need 78 megawatts of electricity to support its functions.

It goes without saying, that makes one heck of a carbon footprint.

Facebook has been persuaded by outside parties to make this new data centre more environmentally friendly, through the use of some renewable energy and energy efficient technologies. Unfortunately, they have only agreed to show a preference towards green energy, therefore, their company will probably be using ‘dirty’ energy sources for many years to come.

12 Days…

19 04 2012

…till all my essays are done, and I begin revision for my final set of exams.

And…
… by 11am on the 29th of May, I will be all done with University.

Scary stuff.

In other news: Lostprophets concert tomorrow! My sister is psyched, and I’m glad, because they’re one of her favourite bands. Hopefully, I will come home with my hearing in tact. Maybe not.

Caleb’s Hope | My 3rd Anniversary

18 03 2012

February 2009. I had dropped out of my Earth Science course at University two months previous, and was busy looking for a job to earn some money and get some experience over the following few months till I went back to do a new course. Opportunities were eluding me; there weren’t many suitable jobs for an 18 year old who was stuck between University courses.

Then one day I found myself on a fan-site for the actor, Tahmoh Penikett, and as I was scrolling down the page, I noticed a charity mentioned in a convention report part way down the page. Caleb’s Hope. Intrigued, I clicked the link and followed through. After a few minutes of seeing what was what, I closed the tab and went on my way. A couple of days later, I came back to the site again, and the link caught my eye once more. This time, I actually took the time to read the information there, and was struck by what had happened to the men, women and children that the charity was trying to support out in Uganda. After relaying it all to my Mum, I told her that they were looking for volunteers, and that I wanted to apply. Obviously, I knew about the possibilities of volunteering after many careers talks at school, but I had never really considered it before, not until I found Caleb’s Hope.

I applied, and was successful. After an initial email or two and a shuffle around, I became a member of the website’s e-team, which is still going today. We work to maintain and update the website, while also keeping interested followers on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr (although, we did use Myspace back in the day) up-to-date with the goings on of the charity and news from the areas that we are supporting.

For more information on what Caleb’s Hope do, please visit the website and take a look for yourselves.

http://calebshope.org

I am immensely proud of all that the charity has achieved since Holly created it, putting in the love and dedication to build the organisation from the ground upwards. And, of course, the people who have helped along the way. While it was the NYARA paper beads that initially captured my attention (I am now the proud owner of a necklace, and a choker which I wear as a bracelet), I also really believe in the RMDR – Real Men Don’t Rape – campaign, which raises awareness and specifically helps the women in Uganda who have been victims of rape. What the people there have lived through and bounced back from is a testament to a strength that very few of us are able to tap into in our daily lives.

I fully plan to support Caleb’s Hope for however long they will have me.

Yeouch.

10 03 2012

Nothing since August? I’m fairly sure that’s when Tumblr took over. And possibly the start of a lot of drama/busyness in my life.

I’ll be trying to post here more as I come to the end of my University course. My last week of classes is next week (and I’m freaking out a little about that), and I’ll be having stuff that I will likely want to talk about, like, my impending trip to California, exams, finding a job, my scriptwriting etc.

50 Miles for Project Build & TCDP

22 08 2010

Hey everyone!

What I plan to do is to walk 50 miles in one week. That’s at least 7 miles a day starting Saturday 2nd October, and ending Friday 8th October. It’s an achievable target, and tests my endurance more than one long walk.

The money that I raise will be split between two causes.

Two thirds of the money will go to Project Build, a project run by Caleb’s Hope, which aims to send a team out to Atiak in Uganda at the end of this year to:
- Build sustainable homes and rebuild communities for refugee women and children
- Prepare farm land to restore food security and cotton production based on a model of fair trade and sustainability
- Build a much-needed school (the school in Atiak is currently a bench under a tree)

I’ve been volunteering with Caleb’s Hope for over a year now and I really support this project with all my heart.

The other third will be donated to a friend of mine, Shelley Templar, who I have been helping raise funds for her ‘The Celebrity Design Project’, which she’s been working on at college.
Her current goal is to raise funds in order to get her to Vancouver for a photo shoot with some of the celebrities that have signed onto the project. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I’m going to do my best to help get her there!

So, it would mean the world to me, and to many other people involved in both projects, if you could support me in this by donating money to this endeavour!

Every little helps, as they say, and I will be extremely grateful for any money you can spare.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Peace.

RMDR Campaign Update: Kenneth Klassen Case

9 06 2010

An update from Holly Dignard on the campaign:

1. Mr. Klassen was granted bail – as was already decided before the bail hearing (sneaky!) BUT
2. He has some strict rules to follow:-

* he has a curfew of 6pm to 6am which restricts any major movement
* he wears an ankle monitor at all times
* he is always being followed by police
* he is issued a tapped phone line (ie no cell phones etc allowed)
* he must report to a bail officer three times a week.

The “public outcry” was mentioned by the Crown Council. Holly is very proud and grateful to everyone who took the time to sign the petition and pass it on. It truly did make a difference.

The sentencing is now scheduled for July 22-23, so we strongly encourage everyone, if you haven’t sign the petition, to do so and passing them on to others to spread the word. We’re keeping the petition open until the final court date. You can find the petition here.

We would also like to gently remind everyone to please keep the petition peaceful. Caleb’s Hope absolutely DO NOT support messages of violence or hate. We realize that this is an emotional subject, but we do not believe in promoting violence – whether they be through actions or words – in order to end violence. This is a vicious cycle that would not work.