The new mobile app Random Acts of Green is proving that small, daily choices can add up to big collective impact, showing people how they can make a difference for climate change. With the app, individuals can see how they are achieving positive change by logging over 40 green acts and adding up points. By tracking and measuring their green behaviours, people can see how their actions translate to reduced greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).
For example, riding a bike to work instead of taking the car reduces your carbon footprint by 220 kg (485 pounds) of CO2e per 1,000 km (620 miles) driven. Ten servings less per month of beef or lamb saves 20.4 kg (45 pounds) CO2e per month.
Green acts for a reduced footprint
- Use public transit instead of driving = 200 kg (440 pounds) CO2e per 1,000 km (620 miles)
- Recycle = 14 kg (31 pounds) CO2e per month
- Insulate hot-water heater, reduce water temperature = 22 kg (48.5 pounds) CO2e per month
- Reduce gas thermostat 2°C from 21°C = 22 kg (48.5 pounds) CO2e per month
- Replace 20 incandescent lightbulbs with LEDs = 20 kg (44 pounds) CO2e per month Carpooling, air-drying your clothing, using reusable products: all of these green acts can be logged on the app, so you can calculate your greenhouse gas emissions and earn “green points” that can be redeemed for real-world eco products and services.
Random Acts of Green partnered with the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives to quantify the average grams of GHGs (or litres of water) saved for each of the app’s 40-plus green acts. The app provides the user with a unique combination of points rewarded for each green act entered, as well as feedback on the average grams of GHG or litres of water saved. For example, walking or biking 5 km (3 miles) rather than driving a car to do errands saves an average of 1,085 grams/1.085 kg (38 ounces/2,392 pounds) of GHGs, earning 150 points. Shortening showers saves an average of 600 litres (158.5 gallons) of water per week, earning 600 points. Amid climate change anxiety, major worldwide protests, natural disasters and continents of plastic floating in the ocean, individuals are learning that they play an important role in changing behaviour to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to chart a new path forward for a healthy and sustainable existence here on Earth. Everyone needs to change their behaviour. That starts with one small act at a time, and by keeping track of those actions, people can start to see the impact they are having. That’s where Random Acts of Green comes in, with the new app for people to log what they are doing right and to see how green acts can add up to big change in GHG reductions for a sustainable future. What’s in it for them? Well, on top of the knowledge that they’re saving the planet one behaviour change at a time, the app offers points earned for each act logged that can be redeemed for real-world products and discounts.
The app provides incentives along with the measurement tools that demonstrate results in reduced greenhouse gas emissions, leveraging established patterns of consumer behaviour in the form of a point system to redeem rewards with community and business partners. Businesses and organizations attract new and loyal customers by providing products, services and discounts that add up to saved costs, time efficiencies and reduced waste, all celebrated in the shared social media landscape. Through the mobile app, Random Acts of Green seeks to empower individuals, organizations and communities with the knowledge that they can make a difference for the health of the planet, within the familiar landscape of the consumer lifestyle that seeks better efficiencies to ultimately reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“So far the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive,” says Random Acts of Green founder and CEO Jessica Correa. “The main reason users log their green acts is because it gives them hope. People see they are making a difference and want to do more.”
By harnessing the power of social media, a positive brand community and a nationwide volunteer program of change makers, Random Acts of Green is helping Canadians understand their impact, make creative choices for green action, and connect the dots between small daily actions and big collective impact.
Random Acts of Green, Inc. is a Canadian social enterprise for behaviour change that has been working with individuals and organizations since 2015 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to take positive action for climate change. Why? Because climate change is everyone’s problem—and we all can be part of innovative and creative solutions.
Download the app to your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch from the App Store and get started. For more info, check out Random Acts of Green at raog.ca.
An Kosurko is a research and communications consultant and partner at The AFrame based in Peterborough and the Kawarthas. She has an M.A. in Sustainability Studies from Trent University, where she instructs various courses such as Environment & Communications, Marketing & Managerial Research, and Rural Community Sustainability.