Other than catching sight of Madonna and Paul McCartney in their natural habitat, Londoners have a new reason to skip the metro.By spring 2012, the city will launch a new program that rewards residents with points every time they hit the pavement on foot or wheels that aren’t strapped to a gas-guzzling engine.
For their trouble, they’ll earn rewards like offers and discounts on things like office supplies, entertainment and restaurants from more than 3,000 participating businesses in the U.K. and the U.S.
If this program sounds familiar, it should.
The U.S. is home to Manhattan-based Recyclebank — one of the organisations behind London’s new program — which offers consumers rewards for green habits like recycling electronics and pledging to use less water at home. By registering online, consumers can rack up points to be redeemed for great deals like discounts on Kashi goodies, gift cards to Walmart, and $10 coupons to Macy’s.
There are plenty of ways to earn extra cash just by cleaning up your act. Here’s how you can get in on the action:
Get a tax break. President Obama extended tax cuts into 2011 for energy efficient choices at home, like insulating your roof or using products certified with the Energy Star stamp of approval. Keep track: You can make up to $500 back for the cost of making green improvements on your home.
Get bucks for your bottles. Eleven states have so-called “bottle bills” that pledge to give you cash back for most qualifying glass, plastic or aluminium cans and bottles you recycle. Each state has its own code, but Michigan residents will earn the most for their efforts ($0.10 for each beverage container recycled). For bottle recycling locations in your area, check out Earth911.
Sell your old electronics. With new “generations” of gadgets hitting the market each quarter, it’s easy to amass quite a pile of old cell phones, mp3 players and computers over time. Earth911 recommends sites like BuyMyTronics, Gazelle, and YouRenew, which have no problem taking in your orphaned electronics and handing you cash in return.
Save the wrapper. The cardboard box isn’t the only thing you can save from that box of granola bars. organisations like TerraCycle partner with corporations to take waste like snack wrappers, wine corks, and plastic containers off their hands. The company earns cash for every item returned ($0.02 for each wrapper).