An ecologically friendly internet service provider portal, featuring environmental and international news, chat rooms, email accounts and live guests, will officially launch this week.
The www.TheEcoISP.com portal also includes child-safe website filtering, links to information about urgent environmental issues and direct links to organisations such as the Environmental Defense Fund and the Audubon Society.
44 year-old founder and chief executive Paul Gerstenberger, who invested $2m in the startup, said that experts in ecology and education have joined the company. He believes his unique selling point will enable the portal to survive in a crowded market.
As the 'green' provider of internet services, the portal makes a substantial financial commitment to environmental causes. Access will cost $15.95 per month, $2.75 of which goes to the charity of the subscriber's choice.
At the time a member signs up, they will choose from more than 3000 green causes, which range from the World Wildlife Fund to the Sierra Club.
Members are provided with unlimited dialup internet access, six email addresses and 10Mb of website space. The back-end provider is Qwest Communications.
According to Gerstenberger, the amount of funds environmental organisations can earn is directly proportional to TheEcoISP's membership base. "The more members we have, the larger our community grows and the greater the dollar amount of donations flowing to the environmental organisations," he said.
The company describes it self as 'green' because it applies the four principles of so-called natural capitalism: increase resource productivity; eliminate waste; create service and flow; and invest in reversing the worldwide destruction of the ecosystem.
The site will be supported by advertising, but only from companies that are environmentally friendly. KLD & Company, an environmental consulting firm, will establish the 'green' criteria and evaluate potential advertisers on their environmental record.
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