The Facebook: Unfriend Coal campaign, much like the company at the center of it, has quickly spread across the globe. Perhaps this is because so many young people, early adopters of the platform and avid social networkers, also care deeply about the environment. Ironically, the quickness with which the campaign to get Facebook to go coal-free has gone global can largely be attributed to its use.
A tremendous international response to the Unfriend Coal campaign has made it clear that no matter where people use Facebook to find lost acquaintances, post photos, or keep up with friends, they would prefer to do so on a clean and renewably powered platform. This message has been conveyed to the company in many ways, always creative and often quite funny.
Although Facebook has not yet given these folks the robust commitment to clean energy that they've been calling for, we hope that Zuckerberg and his pals share an appreciation or at least a sense of humor for the efforts. Check out this sampling from around the world:
African activists pulled together the beautiful photo message above with participation from people in Uganda, Senegal, Camaroon, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.
At 8:45am on April 21st at Delhi Public School in Ahmedabad, India, 600 school children sat down in a field in 38 C degree heat to send a message to Facebook. Using their bodies, they formed a 40 x 20 meter letter "F" with the words "clean energy" spelled out alongside. The heat couldn't stop this incredible group of young clean energy advocates from sending their human art message to Facebook.
Italian activists wearing Unfriend Coal T-shirts unfurled a banner at a the Piazza del Duomo in Milan, grabbing the attention of passers-by. They made this video to explain their actions to Facebook:
They take their renewable energy very seriously in Sweden where the Facebook: Unfriend Coal campaign has taken on a life of its own. From beautiful photos to petitions to asking artists on tour to wear Unfriend Coal T-shirts during concerts, Swedish activists have put a lot of creative energy into this issue.
In Stockholm, Facebook users stopped to take part in a photo petition. In Gothenburg, volunteers erected a small green teepee and the public gathered around to hear about the campaign and get photographed with a message for Facebook. In Norrköping, an artistic group spent two days painting a 3 x 25 meter mural message to Facebook on a wall in the city harbour.
And this is one of my favorites, a hopeful and poignant video from the Swedes:
On April 12, Irish activists took a message directly to the Facebook headquarters in Dublin, aslo asking for the company to use safe, renewable energy to power its data centers.
In the Southeast, not far from where Facebook's newest data center will pull electricity from a coal and nuclear powered grid, students at UNC Wilmington made their own quirky video about Facebook's energy choices.
In Austin, Texas, at the company's headquarters, Facebook users have twice delivered their message directly to Facebook's staff. And back in North Carolina, at the site of Facebook's Forest City data center, students protested the company's bad energy choices in early April.
Student volunteers have added some excitement to the morning commute for Facebook employees on their way to the company's headquarters in Palo Alto on numerous occasions, always emphasizing that "GP hearts FB" but we still want it to go green.
It has been incredible to see young people come up with creative ways to present messages to Facebook across the world, but perhaps no activity to date has been as far-reaching and magnificent as setting a Guinness World Record for most comments on a post in a 24-hour period. In many languages and from many continents, people spoke up for clean energy and made history.