Sunday, July 15, 2012

Greenopolis – A Fairytale Land For Green Gurus?

Update: The Greenopolis program appears to have been changed to PepsiCo and is now called "Dream Machine"Try this link for info on the energy use of the Greenopolis Kiosk.

For most of you, this probably sounds like a fairytale land, filled with green and eco-friendly products (or maybe that’s just me?).
But really, Greenopolis is a new concept that I had never heard of and probably would have never heard of unless I had been on a grocery run at Whole Foods. Located next to the recycling bins for light bulbs, ink cartridges, and old electronics were arcade-looking machines which had slots for aluminum, glass, and plastic (HDPE and PET). There are also two slots located below which are used for scanning the product you have into the machine—based on the kind of product, the Greenopolis kiosk will determine the amount of points you get which will translate into rewards at its various partnered locations.
This is an excerpt of what Greenopolis is about straight from their website:
We are about doing good. Specifically, our goal is to provide you with information and tools to:
-Help you to recycle easily
-Help to save our natural resources for our children’s children
-Track conservation through recycling and re-use
-Educate and reward conservation
So what’s the catch?
There’s really no way to go wrong—Greenopolis pays you back for “closing the loop” by awarding points each time you use the Greenopolis Recycling System to recycle, reuse, or conserve your personal resources. Points can earn you discounts and coupons for entertainment, dining, travel, personal services, and much more. All from nationally recognized names you trust, like Marriott, Johnny Rockets, Domino Pizza and Blockbuster located in the community.
One can earn these points through two main ways: 1) sharing experiences and ideas about recycling and reusing on Greenopolis.com, or 2) by using a Greenopolis Kiosk to recycle beverage containers made out of glass, aluminum. The best part is it only takes 100 points to earn a reward for your eligible activities.
Here are some quick and easy steps to get started on Greenopolis.com:
1. Set up an account on http://greenopolis.com/ (link no longer active)
2. Earn points in the two ways mentioned above (submitting a recycling or reusing idea OR recycling your own bottles and cans).
3. Track your points in your own personal point-bank, which is linked to a web-based reward catalog that provides offerings from more than 10,000 retail partners with 130,000 physical locations nationwide. Just enter your local zip code to view the reward offers in your area.
4. Share the wealth. This year, members will also be able to donate points to one of several designated charities to support a cause you love.
Other perks:
• Exclusive travel related benefits just for members (not sure what this entails but I guess you can find out more when you start to rack up those points).
• An online system to purchase discounted tickets to first run movies playing at more than 1,400 theaters nationwide, including those in your area.
• Access to a members-only on-line shopping mall that offers major discounts and cash rebates for purchases.
• Introduction of the Greenopolis App for iPhones that will allow GO members to use their phone to scan materials destined for recycling and automatically upload points.
So if you need a little incentive to rid your residence of recyclables, Greenopolis is a great way to make sure your good deeds don’t go unrecognized. They have modified their three R’s to: Rethink, Recycle, Reward!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Get to Know Your Local Farmer (Without Moving From Your Computer)

I read a blog post this morning over at Packaging of the World and decided this was way too cool and I had to re-blog. The short of it is this:

Heinz is letting every Australian and New Zealander know exactly what farm their frozen veggies are coming from.


It’s a whole new level of get to know your local farmer, and it doesn’t happen at the farmers market – it happens online.
Here’s how it works:
  1. Pick-up a bag of Heinz Pure NZ Frozen Veggies (sorry only possible if you’re an Aussie or a Kiwi)
  2. Check for the “WEBCODE” right below the expiration date on the back of the veggies
  3. Head to purenzvegies.com and type in your code (use 89082B to try it out)
  4. Meet your farmer, learn a bit about him/her, and enjoy some pretty great pics of their farm
(if you haven’t done it, seriously, go do it; it’s pretty fun)
My first though was “Wow – this would take off like wildfire in the states.” Think of how many folks are purchasing organic and how many are seriously concerned about GMOs in their food; think of the local food movement, the slow food movement, the get to know your farmer and your butcher initiatives… the list goes on.
There’s obviously a lot more they could do with the site as well. It would be cool if I could interact with the farmers – leave them comments, questions, or correspond via a simple discussion board. It would also be cool if the farmer profiles were a bit more robust. But all in all, I was definitely impressed.
Transparency means a lot to folks, particularly with all the consumer confusion and mis-trust around what’s sustainable and what’s good for my health. Great job by Heinz increasing transparency in NZ and AU and here’s hoping we see Heinz Pure US Veggies showing up soon.