How green are you? Ecobot knows...

For those concerned about global warming and their impact on it, Ecobot offers a convenient, open-source way to track one's personal carbon footprint and take steps to reduce it.

The Wall Street Journal recently opined that "the inconvenient truth is that the earth's temperatures have flat-lined since 2001, despite growing concentrations of CO2," causing a greater number of scientists to question the science behind global warming. Whatever your opinion in the matter, it's certainly true that the world would be better off if we wasted less energy, which is what makes open-source Ecobot so useful.

Ecobot tracks your carbon footprint Taxi

While programs like Amee help businesses measure their carbon footprints, Ecobot offers a personal "carbon trainer" for Mac users.

Designed by Taxi, a Canadian corporation, Ecobot is derived from Taxi's participation in the "Green for Green" competition. The program "calculates your carbon footprint by measuring the fuel, power, and paper you use," and, importantly, does a lot of this data aggregation automatically. ("Automatically" is good - heck, if we weren't so lazy, we probably wouldn't need all these vehicles to power us from Point A to Point B.)

Not only does Ecobot keep track of how many pages you print from your laptop, but it also tracks the wireless networks to which you connect and works with you to figure out how you got from one to the other, and calculates the carbon emissions required to make the journey.

Pretty slick.

Even if you're not a tree-hugging, carbon-footprint-obsessed member of the Greenimati, Ecobot is an easy-to-use, unobtrusive way to monitor how much carbon your lifestyle requires. Of course, it only works if you're a Mac user.

Even so, despite Dell's insistence that Apple's Macs aren't as green as Apple claims, Ecobot lets you be as green as you want to be...and brag about it to anyone patient enough to listen to you.

Follow me on Twitter @mjasay. But please consider the environment before printing out my 3,000-plus tweets.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


    Discuss How green are you? Ecobot knows...

    Conversation powered by Livefyre

    Show Comments Hide Comments
    Latest Galleries from CNET
    Firefox OS makes first TV appearance on Panasonic's 4K set (pictures)