Simple Steps: One Billion Tons

Created as part of NRDC's new "One Billion Tons" initiative, this Flash-based interactive explores how simple changes in our everyday lives can impact the need for coal-fueled power plants (and their resulting greenhouse gas emissions) over the next decade.

Users can make selections of habits they can change and things they can do, like keeping their car tuned up or switching regular light bulbs to CFLs, which, if all Americans did the same, would make a tremendous impact on the need for these power plants.  A slider lets the user change how many of the predicted U.S. population over the next ten years undertakes these changes to see the greatest impact.  As the choices are made and the slider is activated, small tiles depicting power plants disappear to reveal a typical household scene beneath.

In the scene, select objects are highlighted with gold stars.  Choosing one of the stars gives the user more information and links to related articles and other resources in small inset detail cards.

The interactive itself is built in Flash, but the content is controlled by the Drupal CMS, allowing editors to easily maintain the information found in the detail cards and elsewhere on the page. 

Natural Resources Defense Council, 2010