The concept of Eco-Go is to reduce waste by challenging and rewarding people to make more eco-conscious choices in their everyday lives. The application would be a collaborative, supportive, gamified experience to allow everyone be part of saving our planet from pollution.
Many retailers already promote the reuse of items for carry and containment*. Already if you bring your own mug a variety of cafes, like Starbucks or Peets, you can get 10 cents off. Same goes for grocery bags at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s: bring your own bags, get 5-10 cents off. It’s a great deal, and many people are now taking these shops up on these offers.
Eco-Go would collect information about select items that you are reusing and reward you. For example, when you bring your own coffee mug to Starbucks, Eco-Go would log the 10 cent saving you got and give you a point towards earning badges.
The Eco-Go game mechanic would be a feedback loop to get people hooked on eco-consciousness! Like other games, Eco-Go would incentivize behaviors by giving users points that earn them badges and help them rise through the ranks. Badges also unlock more social opportunities, prizes and coupons for participating stores. Future versions could desginate teams and regional challenges.
Pokémon GO reference – Each time a reusable item is brought to a shop, you would also unlock a mini-game. Win the mini-game and be rewarded with information about real plants and animals, or with digital creatures that you could use to challenge your friends in other fun games. This way people get to learn more about the natural world they are protecting in fun ways.
In future versions, there could also be potentials to incorporate more narrative elements and augmented reality features into the game.
ECO GO is Circular Design
There needs to be a way to disrupt modern societies comfort with using disposable, single-use items. Plastics are an essential resources for health, safety and packaging, however in many instances they are still perfectly sanitary after being washed. In our incentives-driven capitalist society, there are such few incentives for eco-consciousness. ECO GO would be an awesome supportive mobile community to get more people on board with recycling and reuse.