Frequently Asked Questions
- Who are StepGreen?
- How do I view the available actions?
- How do I view the impact of my actions?
- I made a mistake on my action commitments or fulfillments. What do I do?
- An action is not applicable to me. How do I disable it to make it stop showing up in the list of actions I could commit to?
- I said an action was not applicable to me and disabled it, but now I want to commit to it. What do I do to re-enable it?
- Why do the font sizes differ on the actions listed on the left-hand side of the website?
- How is the popularity/rank of actions calculated?
- How are my savings calculated? What about the impacts of actions?
- Other questions or problems?
Enable change. Enlarge your wallet. Expand our community.
We created this site to provide information on individual actions to help you monitor your energy usage and chart your savings and opportunities over time. With this feedback we aim to help you make better choices and better understand the impact of your choices. We envision a new future, and by growing our community we can help insure that people are making informed decisions and have a greater impact. Together we can change the world.
Who are StepGreen?
We are a community of people working to step lightly. Our goals range from saving money to sustainable living. Living well doesn't always mean spending more. Sometimes it means using what you have, buying smarter, or buying less. Wouldn't it be nice to save money and enjoy what you have? Join our diverse set of users and get tips for saving money, energy, and more. Together we can change the world.
You can reach us at stepgreen[at]cs.cmu.edu. You can view a FAQ about the site at http://www.stepgreen.org/faq. You can also try the site out at http://www.stepgreen.org/actions or sign up at http://www.stepgreen.org/signup.
The research and people behind StepGreen
StepGreen.org was created by a large group of faculty and students at Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University and University of Massachussets at Boston. We are currently funded by the NSF, Google, and Intel.
As a free service provided by the HCI Institute at Carnegie Mellon, we sometimes study how our members use StepGreen in order to learn how to build software support for successful social communities.
For more information on how we use our data, see our Study Consent & Confidentiality Statement
How do I view the available actions?
To view actions, go to the: Actions page
From there, you will be able to commit to an action (by clicking on the "I commit to doing this..." button). You can also sort actions by different attributes, such as how much money they will save you or their popularity. Top^
How do I view the impact of my actions?
To view the impact of your actions it is necessary to confirm that you have taken that action. For one-time actions you only need to confirm them once to view their to-date and projected impact. For repeat actions it is necessary to log back onto the site and re-confirm to the actions as you take them. After you confirm your actions you will be able to view them on your home page . Keeping up to date with your confirmations will help provide you with the most accurate view of your savings, opportunities, and impact. Top^
I made a mistake on my action commitments or fulfillments. What do I do?
Please try not to make any mistakes when commiting to or fulfilling actions. We know that it may be fun to play with the visualization, but it makes it impossible to give you accurate feedback. If you do make a mistake please email us at stepgreen[at]cs.cmu.edu and we will fix things. Top^
An action is not applicable to me. How do I disable it to make it stop showing up in the list of actions I could commit to?
If you visit the Actions page, you'll see that each action in the Actions table has a button next to it that says 'N/A'. Click on that button to tell StepGreen.org to disable an action. To undo this, see the next question.. Top^
I said an action was not applicable to me and disabled it, but now I want to commit to it. What do I do to re-enable it?
If you visit the Actions page, you'll see the option "Not Applicable" above the action in the left-hand menu. Clicking on this will take you to a page listing the actions that you currently have have disabled. You can re-enable actions by clicking the "Re-enable" button. Top^
Why do the font sizes differ on the actions listed on the left-hand side of the website?
Each action's font sizes are updated based on their popularity. For example, the more people commit to an action, the larger the font size will be. The actions with the smallest font sizes represent the actions that have been committed to the least. Top^
How is the popularity/rank of actions calculated?
An actions ranking is based on the number of people who are currently committed to it. The most popular action has a rank of 1. If more than one action has the same number of users, then they share the same ranking. Top^
How are my savings calculated? What about the impacts of actions?
Both savings and impacts are calculated in the same way.
All of the actions that you can commit to on StepGreen have potential costs and savings benefits. The costs and savings that we use are based on averages - the values you see may not exactly match the costs you incur or the savings benefits you receive, but they should act as a rough measure of them. For CO2 specifically, we use this as a measure of the impact of all the greenhouse gases that are involved in the particular action. Top^