AltUse Find - Have a Green New Year's Eve

How to Go Green: New Year's

We generally run into two schools of thought on New Year's Eve: it's either an excuse for a raucous night at the bar and massive quantities of bubbly, or it's a night for amateurs that's better spent watching the ball drop with a few close friends. No matter which category you fall into, it's easy to make your Eve a little greener with organic champagne, recycled glassware, DIY noisemakers, and non-disposable decorations. And if, regardless of whether you went out or stayed in, you had a little more to drink than you meant to-well, we can help with that, too.
Of course, once you've gotten rid of the hangover, it's time to look at the year ahead and think about the the resolutions you're ready to make. Is it finally time to stop smoking, trim your spendingclean out your closets, or lose ten pounds? You can do all of those things while making positive environmental changes. Or if your resolution is as simple as living a greener lifestyle, we've included our favorite five-minute fixes that will have you on a brand new path to eco-friendliness in 2009. Happy New Year!

AltUse Find - Green Alternatives to Salt Roadway and Walkways

Ecoholic: Alternatives To Salt On Your Icy Walkway
Posted Nov 20 2009 10:00pm

This week's Ecoholic column in Now Magazine discusses the idea of green alternatives to using salt to break up ice on your walkways.

Read More

You probably already know that basic rock salt (sodium chloride) isn't great for your grass and flower beds but did you know salt can cause heavy metals like lead to leach to your soil's surface and into groundwater? And when it washes into our storm sewers and overflows into lakes and streams, we're talking long-term damage to aquatic life.

Ask at any hardware store if they have eco-friendly salt-alternatives and they'll point you to calcium chloride. The stuff will cut through ice at much lower temps than regular salt, but it stresses the environment in a lot of the same ways. What makes it earth-conscious is that you have to use way less of it than other types – 3 ounces per square yard versus 8 of the other stuff.

Other options include Magic Salt, which is more efficient than regular salt and less damaging to vegetation and concrete. It is also biodegradable and water-soluable.

Calcium magnesium acetate is a non-corrosive, biodegradable de-icer that's generally petroleum-derived but can be made from corn, whey or wheat. Unlike plain salt, calcium and magnesium actually improve soil quality, and acetate is biodegradable. However, it doesn't really melt the ice, it just breaks it down a bit - you still have to shovel it away. But isn't that the idea anyway - just use it to loosen the ice before you try shovelling it away?

Paw Thaw is a supposedly animal and vegetation-friendly blend of calcium magnesium acetate and "fertilizer-grade ingredients." Unfortunately the manufacturer won't release the list of "ingredients." We'll put this in the TBD file.

As for homemade solutions like kitty litter and ash, well, neither does anything to melt ice. They just provide a little extra traction. Plus, neither is particularly great for the earth, your plants or our waterways.

Some municipalities use sand on roads, but again, it does nothing to melt ice and can actually clog sewer systems. Plus, when crushed by car tires, the particles become fine enough to take flight, polluting the air and irritating asthma sufferers.

Sorry to say this, but the wisest, most conscientious option is also the most labour-intensive. That's right, good old-fashioned shovelling. Get yourself an ergonomic shovel if you have back trouble, and a flat hoe to break up icy patches. Bend at the knees, not the waist – you know the drill. If you must, use a little de-icer, and shovel your snow toward the road, not your flower beds and bushes.

AltUse Find - Cheap, Smart New Year's Eve Party Ideas

Cheap, Smart New Year's Eve Party Ideas

Want to live greener on less green in 2010? Start with your New Year's Eve party.

By Gloria Dawson
Setting the Table
The easiest and cheapest way to get enough seating for your guests is to borrow from your neighbors (this might mean you'll need to invite them to your party, so be prepared). If you still need more supplies, try renting them from a party supply store . You can get glasses, china and tablecloths as well. If you're going the disposable route, try some eco-disposable options. has a plate made from sugarcane, an annually renewable resource. At $6.95 for a pack of 50, the price is pretty sweet too. Green Party Goods has great options for festive napkins, or take a look at Plum Party's eco-supply section.

Read More

Keep it simple and free with an e-vite or e-card. Find "cards" at Evite or MyPunchbowl. Try Someecards if you want to get hilarious responses

AltUse Find - Help reduce holiday trash

Food and all those lights, trees, gifts and their wrapping paper make the holidays a lot more festive, but they also considerably increase the amount of trash we produce.
Before you carry your dried-out tree and empty gadget boxes to the curb, consider these numbers:
• Americans produce 6 million tons of trash between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day - 25 percent more than any other period of similar length.
• Styrofoam (think about all those packaging "peanuts") accounts for 25 percent of landfill waste.
• About 33 million live Christmas trees are sold in North America every year.
• The Postal Service delivers 16.6 billion cards, letters and packagesbetween Dec. 1 and Christmas.
• About 40 percent of annual battery sales are during the holiday season.
• Americans go through 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps each year.
• Wrapping paper and shopping bags account for about 4 million tons of trash annually in the United States. Wrapping paper is tough to recycle because of the materials it's made from and because it usually has tape on it.
With that in mind, here are some tips for delivering fewer "gifts" for the landfill this year:
• Recycle your used greeting cards.
• If you need to buy batteries for an electronic gift you received, buy rechargeables.
• Check with the local solid waste department to see if it collects and mulches trees.
• Go to www.earth911 .org and enter your ZIP code to find out where to recycle your Christmas tree.
• Save your used wrapping paper and gift bags for next year, or check with your trash hauler to see if it collects wrapping paper and gift bags. Some cities organize collection days specifically for this material.
Sources: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Census Bureau, Waste Management Inc.,, The Washington Po

AltUse Suggestion - Recycle Your Christmas Tree

Recycle Your Christmas Tree

Over the past three weeks, we have spoken with waste officials in more than 40 states while compiling Earth911’s Christmas tree recycling directory, and we noticed some reoccurring trends.
As you get ready to undeck the halls, here are a few helpful tips to guarantee your Christmas tree doesn’t end up in a landfill. Considering the EPA estimates 20 percent of our municipal solid waste is already organic, it’s worth the time to properly dispose of your tree.
Photo: Amanda Wills,
Treecycling is an easy way to return a renewable and natural source back to the environment instead of disposing it in a landfill, where decomposition rates are slowed due to lack of oxygen. Photo: Amanda Wills,

1. Ask the Important Question

What happens next to my tree? The truth is that just because someone picks up your tree, it doesn’t mean it will be recycled or composted. It could very well end up in a landfill, where it will take additional time tobiodegrade.
And this doesn’t only apply to the small rural communities. With a population of more than 200,000, residents of Richmond, Va. will tell you that Christmas trees are collected and not recycled curbside, but you can bring your trees to a yard waste facility for recycling. So, the moral of the story is, unless you ask the person taking your tree, how will you know for sure where it’s headed?
But if that’s not enough incentive, what if we told you that you could actually get some freebies? In cities such as New York and Denver, Christmas trees are mulched, and the remaining material is made available to the public free of charge. Your community may also offer to redistribute the mulch to residents, saving you money on garden supplies in the spring.

2. Be Timely

Are you the neighbor who keeps the Christmas lights up until March? With Christmas trees, timing is of the essence because most recycling programs only last a few weeks into January. If your curbside collection program accepts trees, it likely only does so for two or three weeks, because it often requires a separate truck to haul the extra waste.
Many yard waste facilities operate under special hours in January, as there isn’t a lot of yard waste to compost when trees are bare and there’s snow on the ground. If you’re late on recycling your tree, your curbside program may consider your tree to be “bulky waste,” thus requiring an extra fee.
A good rule of thumb is once you flip the calendar to January, start packing up the lights and ornaments and get your tree ready to recycle.
Photo: Amanda Wills,
Approximately 33 million real Christmas trees are sold in North America each year, according to the U.S. EPA. Luckily, about 93 percent of those trees are recycled through more than 4,000 available recycling programs. Photo: Amanda Wills,

3. Keep It Simple

The value of recycling Christmas trees is that they are considered organic waste, which means they can be composted, mulched or even converted into fuel. But the tree is only organic if it’s stripped down to its original form, which means removing all the lights, ornaments and tinsel.
Another recycling nightmare is the “flocked” tree, in which the tree is spray painted white for a more “wintery” feel. Flocking pretty much guarantees that the tree will be landfilled, so consider this while you’re dreaming of a white Christmas.
If you’re recycling the tree in a curbside program, you’ll want to make sure it doesn’t block your other bins because there are typically different trucks that haul each product. For larger trees, cutting them in half will make it easier during transport.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Spend

You may be asking yourself: “I’m doing a good thing for the environment, so why should I have to pay for it?” The answer is that it takes money to turn a Christmas tree into something usable, whether it’s mulch or even landfill cover. If you’re dealing with a recycler that isn’t paid by taxes, it’s only logical to pay for disposal.
This year, Boy Scouts troops across the U.S. will collect trees from your curb and take them to a recycler for you. In most cases, this is a fundraiser for the troop, so the money you’re spending will cover gas costs and support Boy Scout programs.
If you are taking your tree to a yard waste facility, you’ll likely be charged a fee that is based on weight. The posted signs are usually based on per-ton charges, so don’t be scared away when you see $15+. Once your tree is weighed, it will likely cost less than $3 to recycle.

5. Recycle It Yourself

If you’re completely opposed to paying fees, or are worried about getting your tree to the curb on time, there are plenty of ways to take care of the tree on your own without a recycling program:
  • Chop it into firewood and kindling—A standard Noble Fir tree can be turned into more than 13 pounds of firewood to keep you warm this winter. The needles can be used for art projects or as mulch in your backyard.
  • Improve water quality—If you have a pond or other body of water in the backyard, tossing in your Christmas tree actually helps the fish by providing shelter and nutrients. Many communities have drop-off locations near bodies of water for this purpose. If you do not officially own the body of water (such as beach-front properties), you must get permission before disposing of your tree in this way.

How to have a green Christmas

How to have a green Christmas

Read More

  • Buy Less
  • Buy Smart and Think Green
  • Connect with Nature
  • Lower the impact of Holiday Lighting
  • Choose a live tree
  • Home Made Cards
  • Alternatives to wrapping paper
  • Reuse/Recycle/AltUse and Go Green Expo Announce Alignment

Contact: Sandra Levy

562.391.1516 (o); 562.841.2421 (m); and Go Green Expo Announce Alignment to sponsor  Go Green Expo, the nation's leading green event, in LA, NY,  Phil, Atlanta

LOS ANGELES - December 20, 2009 -, the world's largest collection of alternative uses for everyday products, will be a featured sponsor for the 2010 Go Green Expo, it was announced today.  The partnership kicks off at Go Green Expo's first 2010 show, January 22-24 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.  The event features over 250 exhibits, dozens of speakers, and engaging panel discussions.

"This partnership is a great opportunity for Go Green Expo and to reach more green-minded consumers via our national tour and the web," said Bradford Rand, President and CEO of Go Green Expo. “Our customers and exhibitors alike will benefit greatly from the relationship."

"We're very excited to be part of Go Green Expo," commented Ben Goldfarb, President of AltUse, Inc.  "It gives us a chance to showcase AltUse for an audience already looking for new ways to reuse and recycle."

Indeed, enables site visitors to save money, and to help save the environment, by sharing valuable recycle and reuse strategies.  Visitors can search for an AltUse, post their own, vote for their favorites, and share with their friends.  Launching in July 2009, its library already includes thousands of alternative uses for everyday consumer needs, from eliminating rodents with instant potato flakes, to cleaning eyeglasses with vodka.  

"AltUse challenges the notion of marketing products for one specific purpose," Goldfarb explained.  "By providing a valuable platform for consumer goods manufacturers to learn more about their customers, as well as to measure the alternative use potential of specific products, we hope to inspire an increase in manufacturing efficiency and product quality, while cutting down on unnecessary waste."  

Go Green Expo, the brainchild of long-time trade show producer Bradford Rand  and his team, utilizes a ZERO carbon footprint approach to event production.   By inviting companies large and small to showcase efforts to reduce their respecitve carbon footprints, consumers have hands on experiences with "eco-friendly" alternatives to current everyday products and services.

Speakers at the LA event include Ed Begley Jr., Mariel Hemingway and Eric Corey Freed.  The New York event is scheduled for March 19-21, followed by Philadelphia on April 16-18, and Atlanta on May 21-23.

#  #  #

AltUse® is a registered trademark of AltUse, Inc.

AltUse Find - Local Harvest℠

The best organic food is what's grown closest to you. Use our website to find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area, where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies. Want to support this great web site? Shop in our catalog for things you can't find locally!

Read More

Why Locally Grown?
People worldwide are rediscovering the benefits of buying local food. It is fresher than anything in the supermarket and that means it is tastier and more nutritious. It is also good for your local economy--buying directly from family farmers helps them stay in business.

Family farmers sell their products directly to the public 
through various channels.

AltUse Find - PlasticsInfo.Org

Plastic Recycling Tips for the Holidays

Plastic Recycling Tips for the Holidays Image
A holiday “how to” guide for plastic reuse and recycling
This holiday season, Americans will generate 25 percent more waste, resulting in an extra 5 million tons of garbage! To encourage consumers to “trim their trash” while trimming their tree, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and Bob Lilienfeld, editor of the Use Less Stuff (ULS) Report, have teamed up to provide a holiday “how to” guide for reusing and recycling everyday plastics that will result in savings to the pocketbook and to the environment.
"The ULS Report has been working to reduce holiday waste for many years. We're very happy that organizations such as the ACC are recognizing the value of these efforts and welcome their cooperation and involvement," Lilienfeld says.

Going Green With Environmental Expert Bob Lilienfeld
During the excitement of the holidays, it’s easy to forget about the extra waste that is generated and how everyone plays an important part in reducing its impact on landfills. Turning reuse and recycling tips into household habits will help reduce trash and help protect our environment, year-round. When it comes to trimming waste and conserving resources,recycling plastic bottles and bags are actions consumers can take to make a big difference. 

Lightweight, shatter resistant plastic beverage bottles are great to have on hand for holiday parties and other celebrations. They are also among the most readily recycled plastics. Over 80 percent of U.S. households have access to a plastics recycling program, be it curbside collection or community drop-off centers.  Recycling plastic bottles is not only convenient; it helps to conserve energy. The 3 billion pounds of plastic bottles that were recycled in the United States in 2006 saved enough energy to heat 1.6 million homes.
From toting gifts to carrying groceries, plastic bags can be used and reused for dozens of holiday-related activities throughout the season. In addition to being convenient and recyclable1, plastic bags have many positive economic and environmental attributes. More than 90 percent of today's consumers reuse plastic bags as liners for household wastebaskets, shoe totes and laundry or garment bags—saving both time and money. Our environment also benefits because today’s lightweight plastic bags require 70 percent less energy to manufacture and produce 50 percent less greenhouse gasses than paper alternatives. Plus plastic bags are fully recyclable.
Plastics are a valuable resource and should be reused and recycled whenever possible. The following steps make it easy to contribute to a cleaner planet during any season.

  1. Find out which plastics are accepted for recycling in your community and where they can be taken. Though recycling varies, most community programs collect plastic bottles and many grocery and retail chains now offer bins to collect used plastic bags and wraps for recycling.
  2. Know what to recycle with your bottles. A “bottle” is any container with a neck or opening that’s smaller than its base and includes milk jugs; beverage containers; bottles from salad dressing, oil and other condiments; food jars for items like peanut butter and mayonnaise; and bottles from shampoo, toiletries, laundry detergent and other household cleaners.
  3. Know what to recycle with your bags. When you recycle your bags, include all plastic bags from grocery and retail stores, dry cleaners, plastic bags that cover newspapers, and product wraps from paper towels, napkins, bathroom tissue and diapers.
  4. Clean and empty. Before tossing them in the recycle bin, make sure bottles are appropriately rinsed and that caps are removed. Similarly, bags should be clean and empty of trash or receipts.   
  5. Bring bottles back to the bin. When bottles are emptied away from home, temporarily store them in a backpack or briefcase, or simply leave them in the car until arriving home to place in a recycle bin.
  6. Store bags in a bag. Storing plastic bags and other wraps in a plastic bag offers neat, convenient storage. Simply knot the handles when you’re ready to drop them off at your local grocer or retailer.
  7. Reuse those bags! From trashcan liners to pet pick-up, plastic bags can be used dozens of ways.
  8. Pitch in beyond the kitchen. While many recyclable bottles and bags come from the kitchen, don’t forget to check the bathrooms and laundry room for shampoo and detergent bottles and reuse your plastic bags as trash can liners throughout the house.
  9. When in doubt, leave it out. Be careful not to contaminate your recyclables with garbage or items that aren’t recycled in your area.
  10. Bridge the second generation gap. It’s important to remember that recycled plastics go on to become second generation products like carpet, fleece jackets and new bottles and bags.
  11. Going Green With Environmental Expert Bob Lilienfeld - Watch a funny movie here

AltUse Find - 5 Green Money $avers

Your cheapskate's guide to going green
The DailyGreen

1. Save on Dry Cleaning

Most clothes sent to the dry cleaners are wrinkled rather than dirty. Save money and exposure to toxic chemicals by hand steaming wrinkles out of your clothes. You'll avoid PERC (perchloroethylene) - a volatile organic compound that can cause dizziness, headaches, nausea, irritation and even cancer at high exposure.

2. Save on Organics

Max your food dollars by zeroing in on the so-called 'dirty dozen' foods that testing shows have the highest pesticide residues. Here's what to either buy organic, or avoid: peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, imported grapes, spinach, lettuce and potatoes.

3. Save on Gas

Every gallon of gasoline you burn produces 19 pounds of carbon dioxide, so it pays to conserve (in more ways than one). Your car will work more efficiently if you obey the speed limit and avoid rapid, unnecessary acceleration. Keep your tires properly inflated and get regular tune-ups. Forget warming up under most conditions.

4. Save on Electricity

There are many ways to trim those electric bills. Wash your laundry in cold water instead of hot, line dry your linens, and use a toaster oven for small heating needs instead of a bigger electric stove. Open windows to let the light in, turn off unneeded lights and appliances, and unplug unused electronics to counter the 'energy vampire' effect.

5. Save on Heating Bills

Keep your conditioned air inside by finding and plugging up those leaks. Check for window drafts by carefully holding an incense stick up to each frame and watch the smoke to see if there is a leak. Then use caulking or weather-stripping to seal the cracks. For door drafts, place an old-fashioned draft dodger or draft-blocker along the bottom saddle.

AltUse Find - Freecycle.Org

Welcome! The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,867 groups with 6,857,000 members across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (them's good people). Membership is free. To sign up, find your community by entering it into the search box above or by clicking on “Browse Groups” above the search box. Have fun!

Read More

AltUse Find - Recycling batteries

Call2Recycle® Welcomes You

Call2Recycle is the only free rechargeable battery and cell phone collection program in North America. Since 1994, Call2Recycle has diverted 50 million pounds of rechargeable batteries from the solid waste stream and established a network of 30,000 recycling drop-off points. Advancing green business practices and environmental sustainability, Call2Recycle is the most active voice promoting eco-safe reclamation and recycling of rechargeable batteries and cell phones. Call2Recycle is operated by the non-profit Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC).

Program Funding
Call2Recycle is funded by product manufacturers across the globe committed to environmentally-sound recycling of rechargeable batteries and cell phones. These manufacturers, representing 90% of the rechargeable power industry, place the RBRC recycling seal on their rechargeable products and batteries, letting users know that the batteries need to be recycled rather than thrown in the trash.

Recycling Partners
Call2Recycle partners with thousands of businesses, communities, and retailers to offer battery and cell phone drop-off points.  
Business Partners
Call2Recycle's business partners use rechargeable products in the field and in their offices everyday. They set up Call2Recycle collection boxes to recycle the resulting waste.

Community/Public Agency Partners
Call2Recycle helps communities and public agencies operate curbside pick-up and household battery and cell phone collection program.

Retail Partners
Call2Recycle's retail partners provide easy access for customers to drop off their used batteries and cell phones for recycling. Participating retailers include (in the U.S.): AT&T, Best Buy, Black & Decker, DeWalt, The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Milwaukee Electric Tool, Office Depot, Orchard Supply Hardware, Porter-Cable Service Centers, RadioShack, Remington Product Company, Sears, Staples, Target, US Cellular, and Verizon Wireless. Participating retailers in Canada: Batteries Experts, Battery Plus, Bell World, Black & Decker, Canadian Tire, FIDO, Future Shop, The Home Depot, Home Hardware, London Drugs, Personal Edge/Centre du Rasoir, Sears, The Sony Store, The Source by Circuit City, Staples, Telus Mobility, and Zellers.
Government Support
In May 1996, Congress enacted Federal legislation known as the Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable Battery Management Act. This Act streamlines state regulatory requirements for collecting Ni-Cd batteries and encourages voluntary industry programs to recycle them. The RBRC program has received recognition, endorsements, and awards from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Keep America Beautiful, Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, and The Home Depot. The RBRC Battery Recycling Seal has been certified by the U.S. EPA.
Federal and State Recycling Laws
Federal, state and provincial regulations govern the proper disposal of rechargeable batteries and cell phones. Call2Recycle is named in official legislation as the collection method for eco-safe rechargeable battery and cell phone recycling.

Enter your zip or postal code to find a rechargeable battery and cell phone recycling location near you.

AltUse Find; Your Daily Thread - One Click Away to a Greener Day

What is your daily thread (ydt)?

ydt was inspired by a simple problem: What is there to do in my city that is active, embraces green and sustainable living, all the while being fun, entertaining, exciting, and meaningful?
Does figuring that out sound like too much to juggle?
ydt is here to help with short & sweet articles on how to live a balanced life in Los Angeles. Topics range from eco-fashion to organic beer, from Hollywood film festivals to Santa Monica community gardens, and more.
A simple solution indeed!
We give you each weekday, your daily thread, L.A.’s guide to conscious living.
How to get involved
•Subscribe to our free daily newsletter here.
•Discover cool eco-friendly events in your own back yard with ourevents calendar.
•Comment and share your thoughts with us on our article threads.
•Be in the know on what’s happening for your weekend in L.A.
•Take advantage of special offers and discounts on our ydt Deals page.
How We Got Started…
ydt was created by best friends Tracy Hepler and Lauren Johanson. After graduating from college (Tracy @ UCSB and Lauren @ University of Richmond), both women spent a year abroad to learn more about themselves and the world. Tracy taught English in Spain; Lauren volunteered at an Indian Orphanage and on organic farms in Thailand and New Zealand.
After moving back to the city they knew as kids, they searched for a source to learn about what there was to do as adults. Their experiences in college and abroad had also sparked a growing interest in sustainability, social responsibility, green living–an overall more conscious lifestyle. This prompted them to seek out people and places living out these ideals through out Los Angeles. One night over fair trade coffee Tracy and Lauren wondered, “Why don’t we make our own city guide that focuses on conscious living issues and share them with everyone?”
This is how ydt came to be, a project from the heart of two best friends. ydt is here for all of you to enjoy, read, share, comment on and connect to as you traverse Los Angeles.

Welcome to Carbonrally. We’re glad you’re here!

Carbonrally Mission

Carbonrally offers individuals and groups a fun, simple and social way to have an impact on energy consumption and climate change.

Read More

Why Rally?

It was early in 2007 when we put our heads together and began discussing how we could have an impact on energy consumption and climate change. More than anything, we wanted to combine our knowledge of consumers, software, and environmental studies to find a new approach to the problem. We talked about our personal attempts to reduce global warming, and we quickly realized that we shared a common frustration. The issue seemed just too big for any single person to make a meaningful difference.

We understood the basic links between energy use, CO2 emissions, and climate change. We also knew that we were comfortable in our habits of consumption, and that big changes weren’t going to happen overnight. We needed to identify some realistic steps to rein-in our behavior and make a plan to accomplish them. Still, it would be hard to get excited about our plan without some sort of feedback loop that showed real progress.

And what fun is that?

That’s when we hatched the idea of Carbonrally. We would create a place where many people could discover and commit to small, positive actions over time. People on the site could propose great ideas for saving energy and reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and the community would choose the best ideas to pursue as a team. We’d track the collective impacts, and show the power of many people getting the job done together. Bit by bit, the community would learn the connections between climate and lifestyle, and rack-up literally tons of carbon benefits along the way. The Internet would make the process surprisingly fun and social… we’d celebrate and we’d compete!

How It Works

There are many ways to have fun with Carbonrally…

Take a challenge – We’ll post a Featured Challenge every few weeks on the site, and we’ll notify you by email when we do. Most challenges are easy, short-term actions, but we’ll throw in a doozy from time to time to keep it interesting. If the Featured Challenge doesn’t apply to you, or is something you’re already in the habit of doing, then you can look at the Previous Challenges where you might find some other actions that make more sense for you.

Check out the results – You can see how you’re doing by visiting your My Carbon Page. Or, view the Total Impact Map for a real-time snapshot of Rally results in different parts of the country. There are also impact maps associated with each challenge. On any map, you can click on a green bar to learn more about the people and action in a certain city.

Compete – Here’s where the fun really begins. If you enjoy a healthy competition, you can create or join a Carbonrally team among friends, classmates, colleagues, or whomever. Browse some real teams to see how this works. Team leaders are given tools to manage their rosters and send love notes to their best performers. Team or no team, it’s also fun to see how your city is performing. The Leaderboard shows the top cities, teams and individuals, and highlights our occasional prizes.

Dream up challenges – If you want to get creative, visit the Challenges Workshop area where you can post an idea for a new challenge. You can review the ideas of fellow rallyers and vote for your favorites. We do the legwork to convert the most popular ideas into Featured Challenges. Imagine the impact that your idea can have!

Socialize with other Rallyers – Carbonrally is a place to share thoughts, serious or otherwise, on climate change and related issues. There is a message board for each Carbonrally city, team and challenge. Feel free to organize local events, heckle another team, or talk about your challenge experience – good or bad. You can also send personal emails to other Rallyers. The best place to find people is by drilling into the Total Impact Map or using our Site Search feature.

Rally your friends – Getting other folks to join and take challenges is another important way to contribute to Carbonrally. To make it fun, we even maintain a place on the leaderboard to recognize our “top recruiters”. We also provide a range of recruiting tools.

Newbie to Ninja? – If you’ve “been there, done that” on most of the challenges, then we hope you’ll expand your carbon-ness by rallying new people to our community, building a killer team, or by offering ideas to our workshop. Those dipping their toe in the green water will hopefully find a useful introduction to energy conservation and climate change and a place to evolve their commitment to the cause… a small action today, a team leader tomorrow!

For more tips and FAQs on how to use Carbonrally features, please see the Rally Machinesection of the blog.

Rules of the game

Guilt-free zone – If you just tour the site and learn a few things about climate change, that’s great. If you complete an occasional challenge, that’s even better! We recognize that most challenges won’t be practical for everyone. Every little bit helps.

What we measure – The objective of the Rally is to motivate each other to make small changes in personal behavior that can help reduce energy consumption and CO2emissions. To this end, we track and publish challenge commitments and personal CO2reduction values on the site. We hope that seeing the incremental CO2 impacts directly resulting from the Rally will motivate people to do more. For this to work, folks should please only accept challenges that represent a real change in behavior. If you’re already leading a low CO2 lifestyle, some of the challenges will be things you already do. When this happens, we hope you can contribute in alternative ways like recruiting new members, posting some thoughts in a forum, or repeating a challenge action you discovered through the Rally a while back.

Scoring – There are two kinds of challenges: “instant” and “accruing”. When you accept an instant challenge (e.g., turning off your lights during the Super Bowl), your account is immediately credited with a one-time CO2 reduction. Accruing challenges, on the other hand, add value to your account over longer periods of time. For example, if you install an energy saving light bulb, the daily CO2 reductions are added to your account each day for the life of the product.

Repeating challenges – Many challenges have a repeatable icon. These can be done as many times as you’d like. If it is a daily action, come back and accept it once for every day you repeated the action. If it is weekly action, come back and accept it again during any future week you take that action.

Trust – Honesty is essential to ensure the accuracy of our scores and results. For this reason, accepting a challenge must represent a real commitment to get it done. If you have trouble delivering on the commitment, don’t sweat it. You can un-commit to any challenge for up to 21 days at your My Carbon page. You can always come back and try it again later if you want.

Leaders – The Leaderboard shows the individuals, teams and cities that have the best performance over the last 30 days. You can also view the all-time best performers, but keep in mind that this view favors participants who have the longest history with Carbonrally.

Team membership – For now, you can only play on one team. You can leave a team at any time to join another one or become a free-agent. The team leader is automatically notified by email when you leave. Your carbon reduction credits come with you when you leave. A team leader has the right to remove anyone from their team. Regardless of your team status, your credits are always reflected in the score of your city. Remember, you don’t need to be on a team to participate in the Rally.

Minimum age – Carbonrally is open to anyone 13 years of age or older.

Have any ideas or questions about the rules? Please let us know at feedback . Thanks!

Who we are

Carbonrally was created in Somerville, MA by Jason Karas. Our product development is led by Stan Ward. Our Environmental Science and Policy Advisor is Steve Barrett
David Templeton leads our press relations.

Carbonrally was inspired by Dr. Jonathan Karas (1922-1999). He rallied many around the wonder of science, our planet, and the importance of fun in every pursuit.