09 August 2008

Clean Tech: Village Green Energy and Wineries Team Up to Promote Renewables Through Facebook

Four Sonoma and Napa County, California, wineries are trying to power their operations with renewable energy.

Now you can help them by loading the "Green My Vino" application on Facebook.

"Green My Vino" allows Facebook users to promote environmental change in the wine business. The application, developed by Village Green Energy, creates three free gifts in Facebook, representing 1, 5, and 10 minutes of renewable energy.

When a user gives the gift, Village Green Energy purchases an equivalent amount of renewable electricity from a wind farm or solar array on the Facebook user's behalf, according to Village Green. If Facebook users pass 10,000 minutes, the first winery will convert to green power.

Seems like a tall order, but it is based upon the success of other applications with high volume of use and effectiveness, such as the Lil' Green Patch, which helps save rainforest as friends give each other cartoon plants.

To date, according to the application developers, the Lil' Green Patch community has saved 29,259,567 square feet of Rainforest by using sponsorship revenue from advertisers to make donations to the Nature Conservancy's Adopt an Acre program.

The first four wineries to participate in Green My Vino are Iron Horse Vineyards, Girard Winery, Windsor Vineyards, and Windsor Sonoma. Village Green intends to recruit additional wineries once the original four have converted.

"We jumped at the opportunity to participate in the application," said Pat Roney of Windsor Vineyards. "'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."

Village Green Energy enables households and businesses to purchase renewable energy from wind farms, solar arrays, and other renewable technologies through the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), the legal rights to renewable power.
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