On this 40th Earth Day, I wanted to talk about some ways that as an affiliate, we can be a little more green. Let’s start with what you may already be doing: working from home.
When you work from home, you obviously eliminate the energy it takes for you to get to / from an office, and the resulting pollution.
If the 40% of the U.S. population that holds telework-compatible jobs worked from home half of the time, – The nation would save 453 million barrels of oil (57% of Gulf oil imports) – The environment would be saved the equivalent of taking 15 million cars permanently off the road. – The energy potential from the gas savings would total more than twice what the U.S. currently produces from all renewable energy source combined.
But what else can you do?
One step you can take is to move your hosting to a green hosting provider, such as FatCow who uses 100% wind energy to power their servers. You’d think a feature like this would add to the cost of hosting, but it’s still only $3.67 / month. SuperGreen Hosting offers a similar set-up, now only $3.95 / month. While SuperGreen doesn’t utilize 100% renewable energy, their servers output 20% less CO2 than typical hosting systems and they are 100% Carbon Neutral Friendly.
If you don’t want to move your hosting set-up, you can offset your carbon footprint by working with carbonfund.org. For $29.90, I can offset the carbon footprint of my home office & 2 servers. Of course that’s just my small business – if I wanted to offset my family of 5’s entire lifestyle for 1 year, it’d be close to $1500! There’s other things I do around the house to be a little more green.
Around the House
Some of these things I discussed in an interview with Murry Newlands, but since the day I moved into our 100+ year old home, I’ve been trying to make it more energy efficient. We only purchase renewable energy, use mostly CFL or LED lights, have replaced all the windows in the house (which reduced our gas bill by 50% this past winter), and collect rainwater for our gardens. Oh, and we also compost, with our compost bin in the kitchen showing off my Green Affiliate pride 🙂
This past year, we’ve also added a Smart Power Strip to our entertainment system, so when the TV is turned off, power is cut to the home theatre, subwoofer, DVD player, Wii and Xbox, eliminating any phantom power these devices would otherwise draw.
Making Green off Green
If you’re an affiliate looking for green programs to promote, browse ShareASale’s green category, or take a look at LinkShare’s green merchants. CJ makes this a little more difficult, as they have multiple green subcategories under their main categories.
While I don’t promote merchants specifically because they’re green, based on my own life experiences, I’d say green took a backseat the past few years as people focused on a weak economy and simply surviving versus living green. However, as the economy turns around, I predict green will make a come-back.
The best time to get into a niche is before it’s hot. It’s at times like this where an affiliate can enter a niche, build up quality content, grow their mailing list, and (with low competition) establish a high CTR on PPC ads (which will give you better position & lower bids when the competition tries to move in).