Friday, April 6, 2007

Being green and caffeinated.

Starbucks, in association with Global Green USA, has created an interactive website called Planet Green Game. In this website you choose a character, and also a mode of transportation. The idea is to go to different areas and accomplish challenges to make the city more environmentally friendly. Through these tasks you begin to learn multiple steps that anyone can take in order to decrease greenhouse gases. The website also gives you examples in real life of what cities are doing in order to "be more green."

Also, in the bookmark they have inserted wildflower seeds in paper so you can make your own little green space.


sedm said...

I tried to play this game but I couldn't find the patience to finish. My first issue with it was when I picked 'bike' as mode of transportation. Riding a bike in the virtual town of Evergreen sucks, you can only travel by the block, no stopping in between! It's completely joyless. The second issue, Evergreen is even more boring than a regular suburb.
Ok, so those are sort of cosmetic silly things. But here's the heart of it:

I don't like Startbucks, I won't buy from them. As a corporation they stand for/do a whole bunch of things that I really disagree with. They don't employ any green practices that I know of... and they are handing out paper bookmarks, which will most likely get thrown away, to promote being green - contradictory design.
Is a virtual game the way to engage people in the future of earth, in future at all? I don't even know what to think of that. It's becoming trendy to be green, or at least to talk about it, but yet not trendy enough because there is very little sense of investment in it. To an extent I can appreciate the effort made by Starbucks, and I'd sort of like for someone to persuade me to see why I should feel otherwise (and why this game isn't really dumb). I haven't explored the whole site though... are there any good parts?

Erin said...

Yeah, *sigh.* Starbucks a hard company to figure out. I still am not sure how I feel about them, I think the right thing to do is never buy from there. But how do you think I found the bookmark in the first place? I don't agree with handing out paper bookmarks to promote a website on how to be green. And the fact that it is trendy to eco-friendly right now, and this whole initiative makes them looks like "they really care."

However, on the issue of engaging people virutally, seeing as how i am responding on my blog, I am pretty much in that same camp. However, I think if successful, virtual interaction can extend beyond the computer and into an arena more suited for impact. That is what I am hoping for anyways...

I did learn some interesting facts that I didn't know before. My cell phone charger is still sucking energy even when not plugged into the wall. And 100 lbs of CO2 is emitted each time I use up a gallon of gas in my car.

I guess time will be the only way to tell which companies care about the environment, because once this focus on the earth thing dies down, a lot of people will start putting in less effort. And Starbucks which is enormous, could be doing a lot more.

Anonymous said...

I think you are both pessimists