Wordweb, you’ve done good.

Despite years spent as an editor, I’m still pretty rubbish when it comes to spelling. There are a few words that get me every time, like: non-environmental (hyphenated or not?) and commitment (one t or two?). So I installed a brilliant tool called Wordweb, an app that lives on my desktop and lets me spot check spelling and access a thesaurus. Perfect, right?

Sadly, today Wordweb and I had a falling out. A little box came up asking me how many times a year I fly. Being the honest person I am, I self reported the third option: 2 return flights. I went home for my mum’s wedding in the summer and home for the Christmas holidays. Bad, I know. (In my defense I hadn’t been home in years!)

Then this box appeared:

Oh the shame. And of course the irony and given I work in sustainability for an environmental charity.

Shut out of my favourite super useful tool because of my carbon footprint. I deserve it, really.

It’s quite a genius setup and I really admire wordweb for this. Create a fabulously addictive and helpful service and then take it away from excess carbon emitters. And use a portion of the profit to contribute to environmental causes. More and more businesses are walking the talk and holding their values close to their business model.

So from this ordeal (yes, it has been an ordeal for me) I now know to lie when self-reporting behaviour. Just kidding.

I’ve learned to read the fine print more often – this was outlined in their T&C’s and I bow my head in shame for not fully reading through them. I’ve also learned that it is this sort of awareness raising, frustration building experience makes people think. Some will pay the 20 -some odd pound subscription and just get on with it. And others may think twice about their environmental impact. And then of course there’s the third type of person – ┬áthose that will find a way around it. Regardless, kudos Wordweb, rather oddly, you’ve made my day.


  1. Ha! That’s an interesting one that highlights how little attention we give to software ULAs and carbon footprints. However, in the end you seem to have been penalised for your honesty most of all :/

    Thanks for sharing

  2. I will do all of your spell checking for any chances to have you fly home to visit!

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