As much as I love my gadgets, I do feel guilt about their collective impact on the environment. From the amount of energy I use and the often non-recyclable materials that go into my fav devices, to all those batteries that will collect in landfills over the course of my tech-lovin' life, I realize that my gadget addiction affects more than just my own quality of life. But if I were on T-Mobile, at least my cell phone could help tip the scales back a bit.
The carrier just announced a new mobile app called Green Perks. The free application promotes eco-friendly products and services by delivering discounts directly to a Tmo phone. The electronic coupons -- for partners like Method, Jamba Juice, Volcom, Roxy and Quiksilver -- are then redeemed manually at the store.
Green Perks is the latest offering under the company's new Mobilize initiative, which is dedicated to making eco-friendly products and services available to consumers. The app is compatible with most Tmo handsets and can be downloaded here. (FYI: Requires a data plan for downloading the coupons.)
While the choices of brands is not exactly comprehensive yet, more green-oriented partners/participants will be added over time. So far, I think Green Perks is off to a great start for a number of reasons:
This reminds me of a recent experience I had. A friend had emailed me a 'Friends & Family' discount for a major retailer, but I kept forgetting to print it out and put it in my purse. Then one day, while I was at that store, I realized I could view the PDF on my phone. So I accessed the message and showed it to the cashier, who rung it up on her register. There was even a bar code perfectly visible on the image (though I don't know if that would've worked with her scanning gun. She keyed the code number in manually.)
It was so simple, even pleasant. I felt like a savvy shopper from the future, flashing my gadget for my $50 savings. (True, swiping my phone -- á la RFID or bar code -- would've been even cooler, but I got my discount regardless, so no complaints here.) No wonder retailers are making major efforts to figure out how to leverage mobile tech. There's a great potential here that's only beginning to be tapped.
As for Green Perks, it's nice to see a smart implementation of this concept, especially since it's getting used to benefit a greater good.