Gamification for a Greener Planet with Recyclebank

Gamification for a Greener Planet with Recyclebank


What’s the best way to combine eco-awareness, public sector education, and extreme coupon frenzy into one neat package?  Why, through gamification, of course!

At least, that’s what the good people over at RecycleBank are doing.  Because, let’s face it, most people aren’t going to trip over themselves to learn more about composting, for instance.  But they might take a few minutes to play Think Before You Trash.  It’s a simple game, but it’s entertaining, teaches you what should be recycled, composted, or donated, and (best of all) it earns registered users 25 points!

Yes, points.  The Holy Grail of Gamification. RecycleBank lives up to its name, creating a closed-loop system.  Users read articles, watch videos, or pledge to participate in green activities.  For each activity, they are awarded points, which they can then cash in for discounts on eco-friendly items, like 20% off carbon offsets to reduce carbon emissions during travel (60 points), 20% off Vapur foldable, reusable bottles (100 points), even $10 gift cards for iTunesHome Depot, and Panera Bread (2500 points each).

In addition to games and videos, the site offers articles to encourage simple and practical green activities, from recycling your bra to 30 Unusual Things You Can Put in the Compost (condoms, dog food, and old Halloween candy, to name a few).

The site offers daily pledges (5 points each) where users can make small changes to help the environment, like installing ceiling fans which require less energy than air conditioners and do not use harmful ozone-depleting chemicals like CFCs and HCFCs.

The group actively seeks partnerships with local municipalities, businesses, advertisers, and recyclers wishing to have a broader impact.  Each year, members can donate their points to the Green Schools Program which helps schools around the country achieve their green initiatives. Recyclebank’s very own CRO, Samantha Skey, also presented at this year’s GSummit to talk about the power of millenial moms and gaming for good.

So, the basic gist of RecycleBank is this: Learn stuff, play games, get free (or discounted stuff), and help save the world (literally).

Not bad for a free site!


Need help with behavioral science and gamification? Get in touch with our boutique consulting agency Dopamine.