Spending Our Way to Cleaner Air
Credit card reward programs are ubiquitous. We all expect to spend money and get something more than than the goods and services we purchased in return. Maybe it's miles, or cash back, or concierge services or some other "make our lives more fun" kind of reward. But, it's something extra. Such is the price of our loyalty.
There's a new card coming out that rewards the planet first and us, second, by knowing we did something to reduce our own individual impact on the environment (not sure what yours is? Check out Caroline Heine's blog entry on calculating it: Called the "GreenCard", this credit card calculates the carbon emissions associated with your purchases and figures out the "sustainable credits" needed to offset your consumption. The example in Fast Company's Fast 50 issue: "Moneymaking, World-saving Ideas" is that a $300 airline ticket generates 2,037 pounds of carbon. It takes 46 trees to offset that much carbon so the GreenCard pays to have 46 trees planted - rather than giving you miles or cash back.
They've figured out the immediate gratification angle we all want, too. Monthly statements show both your emissions total and your offsets. It's supposed to be out in the US in April.
Sounds great, doesn't it? I wonder if they've figured out the accountability angle as well...how am I going to know my trees got planted?