Environmental Reward Program Update – Frugal Confessions

Environmental Reward Program Update

Earth Day/Week is here, and I thought I would take the opportunity to update you on the reward point programs I introduced about a year ago. These programs are something I am particularly excited about because I love to recycle and lessen my carbon footprint, and you won’t ever see me turning down reward points! Most of these programs listed below I have used over the last year and can give further details on the amount of points we have accumulated and redeemed for. Check them out and see if any are worth it to you.

  • My Emissions Exchange (Out of Business, or at least Out of Domain): I was very excited about this website a year ago, which offered a Cap and Trade program for individuals to reduce their personal carbon emissions and then sell the credit on the carbon market. However, it appears that they went out of business (or at least out of domain; the domain name is no longer valid).
  • Earth Aid (now MyEnergy.com): At this site you earn Earth Aid Rewards Points for each kilowatt-hour of electricity, each ten cubic feet of natural gas, and every twenty gallons of water that you save relative to your baseline (based on energy and water use from the previous year). This program is supposed to be very convenient because it retrieves your baseline data for you from participating companies. Unfortunately, none of the companies that I use for energy are supported, so my data is not updated (and I can’t find a way to update my own data). Also, the rewards do not seem too appealing; right now we can get a coupon for $40 off of an environmentally-friendly cleaning. Since September of 2010, Paul and I have accumulated 324 points and have redeemed none.
  • Greenopolis: The Greenopolis Recycling System compliments curbside recycling and differentiates itself in three ways: it is product and material specific, it is traceable and it offers recycling on the go. Each time you recycle using the Greenopolis Recycling Kiosks, you receive a receipt indicating the number of items recycled and a deposit statement with a prize code redeemable for points at Greenopolis.com. Materials you can deposit are: PET #1 plastic, HDPE #2 plastic, Aluminum, or Glass beverage containers. Check out this link for Greenopolis Kiosks in Houston.
  • Nuride: This site rewards you for carpooling, taking the bus/train/light rail, walking, telecommuting, or bike riding around town and for your commute instead of driving in your car alone. You can join through an organization affiliation, so check to see if your employer or school participates. I joined in 2010, and have earned a total of 8,800 points. I cashed 1,000 points in for two $5 coupons off of $50 at H-E-B.
  • Recycle Bank: Houston participates in this; check to see if your city does (if it doesn’t for the recycling portion, you can still sign up and complete little quizzes and such for rewards points). For recycling we receive points that are good towards gift cards, coupons, and other rewards. Since beginning with this rewards site in April 30, 2010, we have earned 3,439 points for recycling 1130 pounds of materials and completing quizzes online. So far we’ve redeemed for a free bag of Spec’s coffee, a coupon for $5 off a $25 purchase at Half Priced Books, and a $10 Gap gift card (we still have 940 points).

All in all, I most enjoy Recyclebank from the list above. They are very user-friendly and offer rewards that I want. I think MyEnergy.com offers a great service…except that they need to expand at a faster pace.

Do you know of any rewards programs I missed? I’d love to hear about them!

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