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Cool Tools for your Digital Delight: Earth Day Edition

Sustainability-themed social media, an energy usage analysis tool of the future, and a personalized green goal tracker

As consumers become more aware of the greater environmental implications associated with their everyday actions, they're looking for social mediums and expert-engineered technological applications to help them share relevant information and make more ecologically sound decisions in their everyday lives. Here's a look at three to look out for:

Earth Protect: A prominently featured video component makes this sustainability-themed social media site function like an activist version of YouTube, with additional components akin to a green Facebook. By uploading and sharing videos that specifically address environmental issues in communities around the world, members of the site's thousands-strong social network (which spans 150 countries) provide its visitors with a sobering "window to the world" view of our fragile global eco-system. The site also maintains a business directory to help users find and buy environmentally-friendly products and services and learn about a dozen or so like-minded non-profit partners.

Google PowerMeter: Currently in development, Google's PowerMeter tool will soon help consumers monitor their personal energy expenditures in real-time. Once launched, not only will the tool help reduce carbon emissions by showing people where they can cut down on their individual power usage, but according to studies, it will also ultimately help save between 5-15% on one's monthly energy bill.

Green Groove: In a similar vein, this new online service helps consumers create personalized "withdrawal" plans to help them organically adapt to more sustainable ways and embrace eco-conscious choices. Visitors engage in a three-phase process. First, they choose a plan type, length, and level of difficulty; then, they set goals in four categories (home, lifestyle, diet, and auto); and finally, they prioritize goals in the order they'd like to follow them. A downloadable widget helps users keep (and stay on) track of their goals.

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