Social Media and Recycling: Yes Please

In a world where there is very little incentive to take green actions, such as recycling it is encouraging to see what Recyclebank is doing. Currently there is not much out there to encourage people to live green, other than the fact that it is the responsible and good thing to do, and by doing so you are helping the planet last a bit longer. It might also help you save some money on your monthly
bills. Recyclebank is now making efforts to make living green more than just a way to appease our guilt. Recyclebank is a company that rewards people for taking every day green actions, by giving them discounts and deals for their green actions. They are encouraging households to increase recycling, reduce energy usage, and learn to live greener lives.

Recently they announced that they would be partnering together with Badgeville to add sophisticated gamification that would enhance the online experience for Recyclebank’s members. Javier Flaim, who is the SVP of Global Marketing for Recyclebank said, “Recyclebank takes a carrot versus stick approach to motivating behavior change, with ‘gaming for good’ principles intrinsic to our business model from the very beginning.” Recyclebank aims to increase recycling rates, curb energy and water consumption, encourage smarter transportation, strengthen local economies, and help people realize the financial benefits of making greener choices.

The platform rewards its users with points for answering related quiz questions, pledging to take eco-friendly actions, learning how to help the environment, and referring friends to Recyclebank. They can also earn points for recycling specially marked products, such as specially marked Kashi cereal boxes that have codes on the inside of the boxes in order for people to type them in before they recycle the boxes. Rewards also include prizes for earning the most points, submitting the most creative user-generated content and automatic entry into sweepstakes drawing for prizes.

I think that Recyclebank, and Badgeville’s partnership takes care of two problems. One, how do you encourage more people to take green actions on a regular basis beyond the people who do it already as a part of their daily routines? Two, how do you get people to take part in gamification platforms beyond the ones that do it simply because they enjoy doing it? The answer is in the incentives, it is just like Foursquare check-ins. How do you encourage people to check-in beyond the ones that do it for fun? You incentivize them to do so. If you are incentivizing people to take part in a gamification platform such as Recyclebank, then it will make more sense for people to do so, and they can justify their time and effort participating and sharing their experiences across social media platforms.

I believe that this is a great way to combine two of my favorite things, social media, and environmental sustainability efforts. The thing I like the most about this is that not only is it encouraging people to do good things for our planet, but it is also educating people. It makes the most sense to not only ask people to do something, but to also educate them as to why those things are a good idea, and educate them with what they are helping the world out with by taking action.


The Green Guerilla