Going green through energy conservation is trendy, but one new company is even giving away prizes to individuals who excel in that effort.
Earthaid.net, an online service, is hoping to capitalize on both aspects of the environmentalist trend. The free program allows households to monitor energy use, and earn rewards for energy savings.
“Earth Aid is unique in that it uses actual data from utilities” such as electric, water and gas, said College and Wharton alumnus David Burd who is now a vice president at Earth Aid. This means users don’t have to input their own information like most online carbon calculators.
Earth Aid Enterprises, which launched its energy tracking service in April, offers services nationwide and is linked with utilities in many areas of the country, Burd said, adding that the company is “growing rapidly.”
The rewards program was launched last month in Washington, D.C., giving users gift cards to local stores, restaurants and bars for doing their part in the fight against climate change.
A savings of 75 kilowatt-hours, for example, can earn Washingtonians $25 toward a meal at Founding Farmers, an environmentally conscious restaurant near the George Washington University campus.
According to Burd, Earth Aid has earned the support of D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty.
Burd said he and his colleagues hope to take the rewards program nationwide as soon as possible.
Andrew Gall, Earth Aid’s national field director, is heading the company’s University Organizing Fellowships, a grassroots program to encourage energy savings on university and college campuses.
Earth Aid has 60 fellows across the country — including four at Penn — working to connect with environmental groups on-campus, recruit door-to-door and engage university and local political leadership.
“Earth Aid aims to involve local businesses and eventually the city council to provide a comprehensive community movement for ‘greening’ our city’s homes,” College sophomore and Penn Earth Aid fellow Zach Bell wrote in an e-mail.
Gall noted that although students in on-campus housing may not be able to track their energy usage, the large off-campus contingent can make a difference in conjunction with University efforts.
He added that students living on campus can still get involved and earn reward points by recruiting friends and family.
To help recruit more people, Earth Aid will have its first national canvassing day on Oct. 24.
“We need people going to homes in Philadelphia and getting people signed up,” Bell said.
Though no rewards program has been established in Philadelphia so far, Burd, Gall and the Penn fellows say they are eager to get started “reaching out to local businesses,” Burd said, “like Smokes.”Comments powered by Disqus
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