I’m a big fan of gamification. For those that don’t know, it’s a way to turn ordinary scenarios into a points scoring game. It’s a way to make doing chores fun, or make working out more exciting, for example.
Well, here is a company that made “going green” a game before it was a buzz word:
“Recyclebank figured out gamification before gamification was gamification. When Recyclebank was founded six years ago, no one had heard of gamification, the concept of rewarding non-game actions with points, scores or other rewards. Thanks to Foursquare, the popular geo-social network that has gamified exploration, many more of us are familiar with the term. “I think it’s interesting how the word ‘gamification’ — the application of gaming techniques into non-gaming environments — is in vogue,” Ian Yolles, chief sustainability officer at Recyclebank, tells Mashable. “These techniques make activities more engaging and more interesting to users, and in doing so, it helps surface the process of behavior change.”
Changing habits is often not fun… It can be a chore. The essence of the Green Hot™ wave is an urge to protect the planet. Now, I have personally only met a few people that are like: “Meh, screw it, I won’t be around for the fall out.”
Most of us truly would like to make a difference in the lives of future generations. The Human Truth™ of this wave is: “I find security in being green.”™ Which I think speaks to way more people than not. However, of those people, not enough of them actively engage in changing their behavior.
This is where gamification can really make a difference in a household. Let’s face it, most people love a game… the success of seemingly mindless apps like Angry Birds and Draw Something has shown that. So to my mind, this concept is a way to make a household draw positive results from going “competitively green”.
“You can then redeem points through partner retailers and brands, including Barnes & Noble, Preserve, MillionTreesNYC, thredUP, Earth911, Rent the Runway and UncommonGoods. Recyclebank is currently active in more than 300 communities across the U.S. Whenever Recyclebank enters a new community, it forges relationships with local businesses so that they become vendors where users can redeem points.”
I mean, there’s no way you can read the above paragraph and not see a win/win! There’s a great interview with the Founder of Recyclebank here, where he talks about companies that are “doing well by doing good”.