Recyclebank, based in NYC, partners with hundreds of companies worldwide (including Coca Cola, Kashi, Brita) in creating a platform for consumers to

a) take small actions like a quiz about water consumption or a pledge to recycle your Kashi cereal boxes, and

b) be rewarded for the actions with awesome deals like 20% off (100 points), $2 off a Brita bottle (30 points), or ... let's be honest, I'd probably go for the Free Small McCafe Smoothie from McDonald's (100 points).

I admit, I was a bit skeptical of this idea at first - mainly because I find the concept of coupons and rebates quite annoying and stressful even.  And not the most positive way to "incentivize" people to be more environmentally-conscious.

But - after joining and spending less than 15 minutes on the site, I'm hooked.  I've learned about Q-tips being compostable, and how much money and energy I can save based on my shower habits, ... and I already have 90 points!

The magic of Recyclebank - is that they make it a game.

"Across the country, incentive experts at Recyclebank are using the power of gamification to radically improve home environmental compliance" - Mashable.

It's so true.

Building on this gaming notion, Recyclebank has hosted a series of community challenges that they refer to as "gaming for good", such as the Green Your School Year Challenge, to encourage people to do green actions through competition.  "There is a social and emotional bond when members interact with each other and get badges and points," says Javier Flaim, senior VP for global marketing.

This idea of engaging consumers through games and competition is powerful, as we also saw with Opower who is partnering with Facebook to create a platform for consumers to compare and compete with regards to energy consumption and utilization.

Anyway, it's incredibly easy. You learn a lot.  Quickly.  And you get cool rewards.  Join me on Recyclebank!

(and let's see who can get to 1000 points faster...)