I just generated 20 minutes of green power. It took me less than five minutes. How did I do it? I added the Facebook application Green My Vino to my Facebook account and then sent one green power minute to 20 of my Facebook friends.
Green My Vino was launched earlier today by Village Green Energy. It allows Facebook users to give free online gifts worth one minute, five minutes, or ten minutes of renewable energy. Village Green will then purchase the equivalent amount of energy on behalf of the Facebook user.
Once Facebook users have gifted 10,000 minutes of solar and wind power to their friends, the first of four wineries who are already signed up for the program has committed to powering their entire operation with renewable energy. The first winery is Iron Horse Vineyards located in Somoma County.
Three other wineries have committed to the program, also. Girard Winery, Windsor Vineyards and Windsor Sonoma will all power their entire operations with renewable energy if enough green power minutes are gifted by Facebook users through the Green My Vino application.
There is an additional environmental benefit to this program. According to the press release,
In California, the electric companies are required to buy a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable generators – a policy known as a Renewable Portfolio Standard. “Village Green only purchases RECs from states like California, where the electric utilities are required to buy renewable power,” explained Village Green Co-Founder Mike Jackson. “When you purchase RECs from these states, you ensure that new renewable power gets built because the electric companies must replace your purchase by building more generators.”
This means that Facebook users actually have the power to force the electric companies to create more sustainable energy by simply adding the Green My Vino application to their Facebook account and gifting green power minutes to their friends. This isn’t a one time opportunity for Facebook users, either. The application says that users can send the free gifts to 20 friends once a day. It’s easy to see how the first 10,000 points could quickly add up.
In fact, if enough green power minutes are gifted and all four wineries go completely renewable with their energy, 1.2 million kWh of renewable energy certificates will be purchased from wind farms and solar arrays in California. That’s enough to power 500 California residents for one year. If the first four wineries are successful, Village Green Energy intends to encourage other wineries to join the program and go green.
This seems like a no-brianer to me. If you’ve got a Facebook account, add the My Green Vino application and send some free green power gifts to your friends. This is an easy opportunity to help spread the use of renewable, sustainable energy.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons