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"A society built on green design, sustainable energy and closed loop systems, a civilization afloat on a cloud of efficient, non-toxic, recyclable technology." ~~Alex Nikolai Steffan

4.25.2010

RETHINK, RECYCLE, REWARD?

This month's Wired magazine talks about the future of money and focuses on how major corporations are enticing customers to buy product and modify their brand loyalty through systems of points that are awarded based upon purchases or other actions.  Not unlike getting 'reward points" for using a airline branded credit card, this concept now extends into gaining 'points' or virtual currency that can be spent in places like Second Life

Now a recycling bin has been morphed from something good for the environment to something altruistic and consumer driven all at the same time.  PepsiCo, is the company that produces carbonated liquid sugar in cans and plastic bottles, the Doritos Super Bowl and bottles millions of gallons of water branded as Aquafina, Poland Springs, Deer Park, Ozarka and others.


PepsiCo’s has created its Dream Machine recycling kiosks to help consumers increase the US beverage container recycling rate from 34% to 50 % by 2018. It will give  points for depositing a bottle, if you have registered with the participating website.   

Kiosks will be located in grocery and convenience stores, and will accept plastic bottles and aluminum cans.  Created by a subsidiary of Waste Management, the first kiosks will appear in North Carolina and southern California.

The first recycling kiosks will not, however, impact the point of consumption of the drink which will be in the car, at home or some location other than the point of purchase.  This means bringing the bottle back to the kiosk at some other time.  Future plans do include locating kiosks at parks and stadiums.  For those of us who have curbside recycling, is the point system enough of a bribe an incentive to load up the bottles for the next trip to the grocery or convenience store?

But wait!  There's an app for that. 

The participating website,Greenopolis, has an App for iPhone that will allow its members to use their phone to scan materials destined for recycling and automatically upload points! 

PepsiCo is also donating a portion of its recycling profits to Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities--thus, the "dream" machine in the recycling kiosk name.   

The points earned are accumulated for the consumer on a site called Greenopolis, a social networking website that is sponsored by Waste Management of America, Seventh Generation, Green Mountain Coffee, and others.  It advertises that is brings people together who are interested in the environment and it links to Facebook, etc.  

Greenopolis has even adopted the recycle mantra and made it their own: Rethink, Recycle, Reward.

What does one do with the reward points earned by rethinking where to recycle bottles?  Points at Greenopolis are to be used to buy stuff:

  • Exclusive travel related benefits just for members.
  • An online system to purchase discounted tickets to first run movies playing at more than 1,400 theaters nationwide. (Tallahassee?)
  • Access to a members-only on-line shopping mall that offers major discounts and cash rebates for purchases.
Your thoughts?

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