Many of the things we all do online every day have a carbon impact, even if it’s not immediately felt. Our first Cloverly custom Rails integration is a good example of that.

That integration involved instagift.com. We're very excited to announce that it is now online.

Instagift is an e-gift card provider for small and medium-size restaurants and retailers, with customers throughout the United States. The Instagift integration was an interesting one because it’s not obvious how e-gift cards lead to carbon emissions. After all, e-gift cards are digital. You receive them online, not via a plane or delivery truck.

So how did Instagift offset gift cards for local restaurants? They came up with a clever use case.

Gift cards purchased through Instagift eventually lead to a carbon footprint when the person redeeming the card travels to the business. So Instagift started a “Go Green” initiative that allows customers to offset that travel.

When customers elect to green their purchase, Cloverly buys offsets or Renewable Energy Credits that offset or avoid an amount of carbon equivalent to the amount created by a 30-mile trip by an average passenger vehicle. As always, Cloverly pairs offsets and RECs as closely as possible geographically to the carbon impact. So if you buy an e-gift card for Bluestem restaurant in Kansas City and elect to Go Green, we might green it with a purchase of RECs from a wind farm in Kansas.

Making the integration easier was a gem that Cloverly wrote several months ago to simplify Ruby on Rails custom integrations. We had been working on a Slack App with a Rails backend and decided that before we wrote the app, we’d create a gem in case other developers wanted to use it on their own projects.

Instagift did a great job with this integration. The best thing about a custom integration is that you can get the user interface/user experience to look exactly how you want. Instagift used some nice, subtle tricks. Check out how the product turns green when a customer clicks Go Green on the page.

We’re thrilled to see Instagift's creative integration, and very happy that they were able to use the Cloverly Rails gem. Most of all, we love the fact that they gave their customers a chance to understand the carbon impact of their activities and do something about it.