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Little Green Genie zips to the carbon market to buy offsets

Little Green Genie zips to the carbon market to buy offsets

Australian software automatically calculates and buys carbon credits according to computer power usage

Australian start up Little Green Genie has unveiled a free software application designed to automatically buy carbon offsets proportionate to the amount of energy being used by the computer it runs on.

Launched earlier this month, the app - which carries the same name as the company that created it - calculates computer energy consumption, then uses the information to buy an equivalent amount of carbon credits from Australian offset provider Climate Friendly.

The calculations are based on numbers provided by GRID-Arendal, a Norway-based nonprofit foundation that provides environmental information to policymakers.

Brisbane-based Little Green Genie estimates that the average computer user who spends two hours a day on a laptop or PC would spend about $10 per year in offsets. The program, which runs on both Mac and PC, can also be used by businesses.

While the monitoring technology may appear rather Orwellian, the company said that the application would allow environmentally conscious individuals to become "zero carbon computer users".

The company was founded by former corporate adviser James Skinner, who said Little Green Genie would help tackle the IT industry's significant carbon footprint.

"Every time you click you are using carbon," he told the Brisbane Times newspaper, adding that the average computer has "about the same amount of environmental impact as the making of a small car because of the materials that are used and because of their short lifespan, particularly for laptops".

Skinner did not say how the company would generate revenue.

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