While The Rest Of You Celebrate Earth Day, Dell Fights For A Cleaner Second Life

from the is-there-co2-in-second-life? dept

In response to the growing concern over global warming, a number of tech companies have taken steps to burnish their “green” image. A lot of these efforts are mainly about generating press, but if they mean that the companies operate in a more efficient and less wasteful manner, there’s nothing wrong with it. This upcoming Sunday is Earth Day, so it’s a natural opportunity for companies to announce new initiatives. Dell, for one, has announced an expansion of its “Plant a Tree for Me” program, which gives customers the opportunity to add an extra $2 to their computer purchases, which will go to planting a tree. There’s just one problem: they’re expanding the program into Second Life. Yes, this Sunday, in honor of Earth Day, the company will hand out free trees inside the virtual world. Participants will even get to program the trees, dictating how fast they grow and what they look like. Of course, planting a tree inside Second Life does absolutely zilch for the environment, so for the company to try to connect the stunt with Earth Day seems pretty ludicrous. We’ve seen companies make some pretty ridiculous attempts to gain credibility by doing something in Second Life, but this one has to take the cake.


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Comments on “While The Rest Of You Celebrate Earth Day, Dell Fights For A Cleaner Second Life”

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33 Comments
Bill McMannus says:

Greenies Day in the Fad-light

Living “green” shouldn’t cost you more, but actually cost you less, because of better management of consumption. For example, when I changed all my lights out for compact florescents, because I sometimes forget to turn off the lights, my power bill went down almost 40%. Installing a timer on the thermostat also decreased my need for natural gas, and it was at the lowest levels I’ve ever seen.

Being proactive in personal life is one thing, but doling out money to plant a tree makes me feel good for a short time, then I go back to my regular consumption. It’s like being on a diet.

I guess that’s why I’ll never be able to see this Global Warming, or Earth Day thing as a cyclical thing… Popular Culture… A fad… Like it was in the Early 90s, when recycling was all the rage, and we got 50-cents per lb for cans, 20-cents per bag of newspaper. Now we get nothing and we’re still expected to do it?

Man I strayed off topic.. Bad Dell! Idle or consolidate servers! Sorry for ranting.

Damon (profile) says:

A clean Second Life

Yes this is stupid. Almost as stupid SL it self. I have a SL account and I have logged quite a few hours on it. It has turned into a huge porn world. Now don’t misread this. I’m a drummer by trade I am not pious. I love sex as much as the next guy. SL is 70% guys pretending to be girls to make linden. I had some fun at first but when I realized the hottest spots in SL were all clubs that cater to lonely guys that are so desperate that they will pay real money to buy linden to have men pretending to be girls talk dirty to them. Yuck…..I think they should go to a titty bar, at least you know that the majority of those girls are actually female!

BTR1701 (profile) says:

Re: A clean Second Life

> SL is 70% guys pretending to be
> girls to make linden. Thottest spots
> in SL were all clubs that cater to
> lonely guys that are so desperate
> that they will pay real money to
> buy linden to have men pretending
> to be girls talk dirty to them.

This is probably a stupid question but what is “linden”?

cat says:

this is unbelievable. society has fallen into the trap of western capitalism selfishness, seduced by artificial wants. the individual with a one track-mind, greed. and the corporations that breed and exploit it. there is nothing that can justify spending money on a virtual play world when the real world out there is suffering and dying.

Wolfger (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“there is nothing that can justify spending money on a virtual play world when the real world out there is suffering and dying.”

So, cat… when are you going to stop paying your ISP bill and donate that money to a worthy cause? Because making lame self-righteous posts on Techdirt isn’t helping the suffering and dying people either. Put up or shut up. Lead by example.

Hillary "Stogie" Rodham Clinton says:

This is all someone's political campaign

My Crystal Ball says that the focus on Global Warming, Earth Day, et al, will significantly increase up to the US election, and then decrease dramatically afterwards, thereby proving the hypothesis I’m about to make:

It’s all a clevely put together political FUD vehicle to buy Gore/Clinton et al a ticket to the whitehouse.

I can see the adverts now– “If You Don’t Vote Clinton/Gore/Obama, you vote for immenent destruction of the world” I’m Al Gore and I approve this message.

Fred Flint says:

Absolute Nonsense!

Is this what Dell has been reduced to doing for publicity? This is so ridiculous, there aren’t even any words available to describe it.

What’s wrong with planting real trees that produce real oxygen in the real word, you stupid, freaking insensitive morons at Dell? Get your heads out of your collective asses!

Save the World!

Plant a tree!

(A real tree, please!)

Tatheg (profile) says:

Re: Absolute Nonsense!

Where? Where would you like this tree planted? In the great plains? In Alabama perhaps? Its the loss of the rain forest that is causing the most harm. Buy some land in the Amazon and protect it from being cut down. Now that will help. Planting a tree in Kansas or Oregan won’t do a bit of good. Protecting the ones that are standing might.

Darryl says:

This is just giving Dell free money and absolutely nothing for the environment as stated above. Itd be fine if they just did this to promote the practice in real life but collecting money for it for the virtual world is just plain ridiculous.

You appear to have misunderstood the article.

As well as collecting $2 to plant a (real) tree, they will also be handing out free trees in SL, which will act as the promotion or doing it in real lie, which you mention.

Paull Young (user link) says:

Some SL Trees DO Help the Environment

Joe,

You’ve said above that “planting a tree inside Second Life does absolutely zilch for the environment” – but this is not always the case.

My employer, Converseon, have recently launched Second Chance Trees island where you can purchase and plant a virtual tree to spur the planting of an endangered rainforest tree in the real world.

For every virtual tree sold (at just 300 Linden, which is around $1.50), environmental non-profit Plant It 2020 will plant a matching species of tree in endangered rainforest regions in the real world.

You can visit Second Chance Trees Island here.

And read the media release detailing our project here.

Paull Young

Senior Account Executive – Converseon

Second Life: LL Platypus

Sean @ Dell (user link) says:

Dell and Earth Day

Hi, this is Sean and I work on environmental issues at Dell.

There is a lot of interest in our recent Direct2 Dell post regarding Second Life and ‘Plant a Tree for Me’ so I thought I’d add a few thoughts.

First a point of clarification – Environmental responsibility is a cornerstone of Dell’s global business. ‘Plant a Tree for Me’ was initially announced in January for customers purchasing new computers and was recently expanded to include any business or consumer in the U.S. (with or without product purchase). The purpose of offering the program in SL is to help raise awareness of an easy and inexpensive way to make a RL difference for the environment. In real life, Dell passes along 100 percent of donations to our non-profit partners, The Conservation Fund and Carbonfund.org to plant trees in sustainably managed forests. Our hope is that SL residents will learn more about the program and visit the ‘Plant a Tree for Me’ Web site.

The SL ‘Plant a Tree for Me’ news was only part of our Earth Day activities. On Sunday, we joined EPA, the National Recycling Coalition and TechTurn in hosting a free computer recycling event for consumers in Washington, D.C. The event collected more than 45 tons (90,000 pounds) of unwanted computers and related IT equipment during a four hour period.

Separately, in December 2006, we began offering free computer recycling to consumers globally.

Hope this helps clear up any confusion. If you’re interested in learning more about our environmental programs/policies, I’d encourage you to visit http://www.dell.com/earth.

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