Looking for a cool way to add a special touch to your green business blog or website? Why not try an eco-friendly widget.
What is a Widget?
Widgets are small, stand alone chunks of coding that can be embedded into third party sites (such as a blog, website or social media page) to perform a specific function. Other names for widgets include: gadget, portlet, module, webjit and capsule, but in the age of smartphones, they are more commonly known as apps.
In some form or another, widgets have been around since the Internet was first developed. Those first widgets were very basic in nature, performing simple functions such as page view counters and advertising banners. With the rise of blogging and social media, the development and use of widgets has exploded.
Why Use Widgets?
Widgets allow users to add extra functionality and customization to their sites. They can be great for just adding a little something extra, such as weather reports, interesting facts, donation trackers, event counters or other information your users might be interested in. Widgets are extremely useful if you’re looking to link your website with other social media tools you might be using, such as Facebook or Twitter. They can even help monetize a site by adding one-click ordering of products or easy placement of advertising options.
If you are a green business or organization and are looking for a way to raise awareness about green issues, here are some of the best green widgets for your website or blog.
Earth Hour is a WordPress plugin by Brave New Code that will automatically disable your blog during Earth Hour. Instead of seeing your regular site, viewers will see a message of support for the Earth Hour initiative, similar to the one on the left.
For more information about Earth Hour, or to download the Earth Hour widget, click here.
This widget shows the environmental impact of writing online as opposed to using paper. It will total up your blog posts, pages and comments and estimate how many pounds of paper have been saved by writing online instead of using print sources.
Get your widget here.
This widget cycles through a list of green living tips, or little ways users can have a big effect on the environment. A new tip appears each time you refresh the page.
The best part? At last count it was available in at least 12 languages.
Download the Green Living Tips widget here.
Pays to Live Green has three different customizable calculator widgets available for free: an energy use calculator; a shower water cost calculator; and a lightbulb return on investment calculator.
Check out the Pays to Live Green widgets here and download one for your blog.
The Environmental Protection Agency has a number of widgets to keep you up to date on the latest energy related news as well as tips on how you can be more energy efficient. MyEnvironment provides you customized information based on your location, so you get the information that is most relevant to you.
Check out MyEnvironment here.
Another widget created by the Environmental Protection Agency, this is a very simple widget that counts down the number of days remaining until the next Earth Day, or April 22nd.
Want to show your support of Earth Day? Get your copy of the countdown widget here.
The Berkeley Institute for the Environment offers a few different widgets to help you assess the impact your actions have on the environment.
Try the Cool Climate Calculator and other calculators here.
If you don’t see something here you like, there are also a number of sites out there that will help you create the widget you want using the content you choose. SnackTools, MassPublisher and WidgetBox are just a few. Use them to create widgets for feeds, banners, slideshows, quizzes, and surveys.
Image Credit: Ed Yourdon