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A few months back I wrote about FreeRice.com, an online word definition game run by the UN’s World Food Programme, which donates 20 grains of rice to needy people around the globe for every word correctly defined by users. Since then, several people have told me that they made FreeRice their homepage and spend the first 15 minutes of each day on the site improving their vocabulary, feeding starving people and assuaging their own bourgeois guilt – all in one blow. What a website!

Now there’s a new instalment in the ‘save the world by clicking your mouse’ website genre. ClickGreen is an advertising-supported tree planting initiative recently launched by Australian company ExtraCorp. Users are given the opportunity to offset their carbon emissions by opting in to receive targeted email advertisements. Approximately 50 percent of the site’s revenue will be invested into tree planting, which will be managed by Greenfleet (a federal government endorsed not-for-profit).

It’s an interesting model. GreenClick can sell the targeted enthusiasm of opt-in users to advertisers and the eco-conscious brand of advertisers to users. And, of course, there’s a viral component, with users also earning tree-planting points by referring other users.

ExtraCorp certainly isn’t the first company looking to make a difference (and a buck) in the green revolution. After all, saving the planet is big business.

So go forth, opt in, click and be absolved. It’s free.

Now if only we could name our trees…

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