by Cristina Foung
My favorite green product of the week: Green My Vino Facebook application from Village Green Energy
What is it?
Green My Vino let’s you bring your passion for clean energy and your Facebook profile together. In a nut shell, you get to send free online gifts of renewable energy to all your friends. The gifts come in denominations of 1 minute, 5 minutes, and 10 minutes (but you have to “unlock” the 5 and 10 minute options). When you send these gifts, Village Green Energy purchases that amount of renewable energy from specific wind farms and solar arrays on your behalf.
Why is it better?
The world of social networking can be a scary place. But this application is really easy to use and it’s free. Not to mention, when you send these clean power gifts, you’re not just getting those minutes of green energy purchased. You’re also helping four wineries convert their entire operations to run on wind and solar.
Once Facebook users have sent 10,000 minutes, Iron Horse Vineyards in Sonoma County has agreed to convert its operations to green power. And there are three other wineries on board! Mike Jackson of Village Green says “If the application is successful, the wineries will purchase over 1.2 million kWh of renewable power.” The broader goal of the campaign is to encourage California wineries to add green power purchasing into their business practices.
Where can you find it?
As long as you have a Facebook account, you can get in on the action! Just check out the application page. And if you’re so inspired, support clean power and Village Green Energy with their RECs.
Besides her green products column on Cleantech Blog, Cristina is a passionate advocate for green living at the Green Home Huddle at Huddler.com, which focuses on electric cars, energy efficient appliances, and other green products.
August 6, 2008 (San Francisco, CA) – Iron Horse Vineyards, Girard Winery, Windsor Vineyards, and Windsor Sonoma Vineyards in Sonoma County and Napa Valley are launching an innovative green energy campaign on Facebook to generate awareness about renewable energy and provide a way for Facebook’s 90 million users to actively participate in motivating wineries to go green. San Francisco-based Village Green Energy created the Facebook application, named “Green My Vino,” which will launch on Wednesday, August 6. “Implementing renewable energy is something that people want to have happen, and by participating on Facebook, the users can actually see change occur. It is a unique opportunity to witness and participate in companies going green,” says sustainability consultant John Garn, who worked on developing the Code of Sustainable Winegrowing workbook for the California Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers. The application enables Facebook users to give each other free online gifts worth One Minute, Five Minutes, and Ten Minutes of renewable energy. For each gift, Village Green will purchase the equivalent amount of renewable energy on the user’s behalf. The wineries step forward as certain milestones are achieved. Iron Horse Vineyards is going first and has agreed to power their entire operation with renewable energy when Facebook friends have gifted each other with 10,000 minutes of solar and wind power. “It’s like a petition with a guaranteed outcome from participation. If Facebook users get behind this effort, they know they can make a change,” says Iron Horse CEO Joy Sterling. “For us, it’s an incentive to incorporate green energy in our sustainability strategies.” Girard Winery, Windsor Vineyards, and Windsor Sonoma Vineyards are lined up to take over with each new milestone. “We jumped at the opportunity to participate in the application” said Windsor CEO Pat Roney. “Green My Vino gives the community the opportunity to interact with businesses and make their voices heard. When people participate in the application, they’re telling us that clean energy is a priority for them, and we’ll make supporting renewable energy a part of our commitment as a business.” If the application is successful, Village Green estimates the wineries will purchase over 1.2 million kWh of renewable power – enough to power the four initial wineries entirely with green energy for a year based on their past electricity use. The renewable power will be purchased via renewable energy certificates from Mountain View II Wind Facility in Palm Springs and several solar arrays in Los Angeles. “Our goal has been to develop programs that make business sense for our customers to participate in,” says Village Green Co-Founder Robby Bearman. “Rather than relying on the charity of businesses to help save the environment, we’re drawing them in by speaking their language, especially from a marketing standpoint.” “I am excited about the power of social networking,” says Sterling. “My hope is that this will be so successful that more wineries will become involved, broadcasting our message to as many people as possible.” Roney agreed, adding “this is part of an effort to bring together the wine community around a common cause.” Village Green has partnered with 750 Industries, a leading social marketing startup based in San Francisco, to design and launch the Green My Vino Facebook application. The 750 team is working with Village Green to fully understand how users are engaging with the application and optimize for friend-to-friend sharing. The application website off of Facebook can be found at www.villagegreenergy.com/facebook. Here visitors can track the application’s progress, learn more about renewable power and ways to help, and get involved in outreach efforts on behalf of green power.