With Earth Day right around the corner, being green is at the forefront of most minds. But during the rest of the year, important practices like recycling might not be such a priority. Sometimes an empty water bottle isn't disposed of properly or tha overflowing box of dead batteries gets mindlessly tossed garbage; it may seem a lot easier to just give up on recycling. Recyclebank was created to help fight that apathy.
The site, founded six years ago, encourages consumers to adopt greener habits (or just learn about them) through a points system. Points can then be redeemed for rewards from Recyclebank partners like Kashi, Preserve, Neutrogena, and Shari's Berries, to name only a few. Recyclebank is funded in part by these partners and advertisers, but it also gets some income from local municipalities, which actually save money when you recycle. So really, if you're already recycling, you owe it to yourself to cash in on your city's rewards.
I've always been more of a timid environmentalist--I recycle everything I think I can when I'm at home, but I've never really made the effort to learn about the different types of plastics (in some places you're not allowed to recycle #5 plastics, like yogurt cups and hummus tubs? Oops!) or figure out how to correctly recycle items like batteries and electronics. But I do care, so I decided to give Recyclebank a shot.
For starters, I love all the fun quizzes and games, which earn major points. I also really like the site's huge library of informative articles about greening your life. Plus, there are "pledges," which users can make to do something like use reusable bottles or fly on energy-efficient airlines. In just a few days I earned enough points to get a free yearlong subscription to Harper's Bazaar.
The major downside, though, is that Recyclebank's city partnerships are pretty limited, and if your city doesn't participate there's no way to cash in on everyday recycling. After some digging, I discovered my town doesn't reward for recycling yet (to do so, they'd need trucks that weigh each home's recycling bin when it's picked up). But Recyclebank encouraged me to get in touch with the local government.