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h2(#Mission). Carbonrally Mission
Carbonrally offers individuals and groups a fun, simple and social way to have an impact on energy consumption and climate change.
h2. Why Rally?
It was early in 2007 when we put our heads together and began discussing how we could have an impact on energy consumption and climate change. More than anything, we wanted to combine our knowledge of consumers, software, and environmental studies to find a new approach to the problem. We talked about our personal attempts to reduce global warming, and we quickly realized that we shared a common frustration. The issue seemed just too big for any single person to make a meaningful difference.
We understood the basic links between energy use, CO2 emissions, and climate change. We also knew that we were comfortable in our habits of consumption, and that big changes weren’t going to happen overnight. We needed to identify some realistic steps to rein-in our behavior and make a plan to accomplish them. Still, it would be hard to get excited about our plan without some sort of feedback loop that showed real progress.
And what fun is that?
That’s when we hatched the idea of Carbonrally. We would create a place where many people could discover and commit to small, positive actions over time. People on the site could propose great ideas for saving energy and reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and the community would choose the best ideas to pursue as a team. We’d track the collective impacts, and show the power of many people getting the job done together. Bit by bit, the community would learn the connections between climate and lifestyle, and rack-up literally tons of carbon benefits along the way. The Internet would make the process surprisingly fun and social… we’d celebrate and we’d compete!
How It Works
There are many ways to have fun with Carbonrally…
Take a challenge – We’ll post a Featured Challenge every few weeks on the site, and we’ll notify you by email when we do. Most challenges are easy, short-term actions, but we’ll throw in a doozy from time to time to keep it interesting. If the Featured Challenge doesn’t apply to you, or is something you’re already in the habit of doing, then you can look at the Previous Challenges where you might find some other actions that make more sense for you.
Check out the results – You can see how you’re doing by visiting your My Carbon Page. Or, view the Total Impact Map for a real-time snapshot of Rally results in different parts of the country. There are also impact maps associated with each challenge. On any map, you can click on a green bar to learn more about the people and action in a certain city.
Compete – Here’s where the fun really begins. If you enjoy a healthy competition, you can create or join a Carbonrally team among friends, classmates, colleagues, or whomever. Browse some real teams to see how this works. Team leaders are given tools to manage their rosters and send love notes to their best performers. Team or no team, it’s also fun to see how your city is performing. The Leaderboard shows the top cities, teams and individuals, and highlights our occasional prizes.
Dream up challenges – If you want to get creative, visit the Challenges Workshop area where you can post an idea for a new challenge. You can review the ideas of fellow rallyers and vote for your favorites. We do the legwork to convert the most popular ideas into Featured Challenges. Imagine the impact that your idea can have!
Socialize with other Rallyers – Carbonrally is a place to share thoughts, serious or otherwise, on climate change and related issues. There is a message board for each Carbonrally city, team and challenge. Feel free to organize local events, heckle another team, or talk about your challenge experience – good or bad. You can also send personal emails to other Rallyers. The best place to find people is by drilling into the Total Impact Map or using our Site Search feature.
Rally your friends – Getting other folks to join and take challenges is another important way to contribute to Carbonrally. To make it fun, we even maintain a place on the leaderboard to recognize our “top recruiters”. We also provide a range of recruiting tools.
Newbie to Ninja? – If you’ve “been there, done that” on most of the challenges, then we hope you’ll expand your carbon-ness by rallying new people to our community, building a killer team, or by offering ideas to our workshop. Those dipping their toe in the green water will hopefully find a useful introduction to energy conservation and climate change and a place to evolve their commitment to the cause… a small action today, a team leader tomorrow!
For more tips and FAQs on how to use Carbonrally features, please see the Rally Machine section of the blog.
h2(#rules). Rules of the game
Guilt-free zone – If you just tour the site and learn a few things about climate change, that’s great. If you complete an occasional challenge, that’s even better! We recognize that most challenges won’t be practical for everyone. Every little bit helps.
What we measure – The objective of the Rally is to motivate each other to make small changes in personal behavior that can help reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions. To this end, we track and publish challenge commitments and personal CO2 reduction values on the site. We hope that seeing the incremental CO2 impacts directly resulting from the Rally will motivate people to do more. For this to work, folks should please only accept challenges that represent a real change in behavior. If you’re already leading a low CO2 lifestyle, some of the challenges will be things you already do. When this happens, we hope you can contribute in alternative ways like recruiting new members, posting some thoughts in a forum, or repeating a challenge action you discovered through the Rally a while back.
Scoring – There are two kinds of challenges: “instant” and “accruing”. When you accept an instant challenge (e.g., turning off your lights during the Super Bowl), your account is immediately credited with a one-time CO2 reduction. Accruing challenges, on the other hand, add value to your account over longer periods of time. For example, if you install an energy saving light bulb, the daily CO2 reductions are added to your account each day for the life of the product.
Repeating challenges – Many challenges have a repeatable icon. These can be done as many times as you’d like. If it is a daily action, come back and accept it once for every day you repeated the action. If it is weekly action, come back and accept it again during any future week you take that action.
Trust – Honesty is essential to ensure the accuracy of our scores and results. For this reason, accepting a challenge must represent a real commitment to get it done. If you have trouble delivering on the commitment, don’t sweat it. You can un-commit to any challenge for up to 21 days at your My Carbon page. You can always come back and try it again later if you want.
Leaders – The Leaderboard shows the individuals, teams and cities that have the best performance over the last 30 days. You can also view the all-time best performers, but keep in mind that this view favors participants who have the longest history with Carbonrally.
Team membership – For now, you can only play on one team. You can leave a team at any time to join another one or become a free-agent. The team leader is automatically notified by email when you leave. Your carbon reduction credits come with you when you leave. A team leader has the right to remove anyone from their team. Regardless of your team status, your credits are always reflected in the score of your city. Remember, you don’t need to be on a team to participate in the Rally.
Minimum age – Carbonrally is open to anyone 13 years of age or older.
Have any ideas or questions about the rules? Please let us know at feedback . Thanks!
h2(#who). Who we are
Carbonrally was created in Somerville, MA by Jason Karas. Our product development is led by Stan Ward. Our Environmental Science and Policy Advisor is Steve Barrett.
David Templeton leads our press relations.
Carbonrally was inspired by Dr. Jonathan Karas (1922-1999). He rallied many around the wonder of science, our planet, and the importance of fun in every pursuit.