The thing I like most about the Blog Action Day initiative is that it challenges
the authors to write something regarding the environment as
related to the usual subjects of their blogs, and not just an easy "me-too"
banner cut&paste. So I’m trying to make sense of environmental issues in virtual environments…
What role could be played by virtual worlds in the fight for a cleaner environment? Communication and education is the most obvious one: some months ago, the Second Life versions of Tokyo, Ibiza and the Netherlands had been
"flooded" to raise awareness of the risks created by global warming.
I am convinced that virtual worlds have the potential to play an active role in the same area as videoconferencing, namely to create a suitable environment for telecommuting. The Beijing municipality apparently believes that this is a good idea (and I really hope so!), and is promoting an ambitious project in cooperation with Swedish MindArk, aimed at the creation of a virtual environment, able to sustain 7 million concurrent users, enabling people to work from home.
Last but not least, I like to remember that each single action we perform has an impact. The lighter, the better – and this is why I am a convinced fan of remote meeting technologies. But it is anyway interesting to see that even avatars have an environmental footprint (and apparently it is the same one as that of an average citizen of Brazil). And this drives my point home: if you can use a virtual environment to do something that would otherwise consume more resources than everyday life… then you are doing fine.