We all know about the physical rewards of walking and cycling as opposed to exercising a few motorist muscles like fingers on turn signals. However, if the rewards were actually monetary, as in points redeemable for goods at Marks & Spencer or Cineworld, for instance, it might be just the incentive needed to exercise the rest of the body too.
This is the plan with a new partnership between U.S. based Recyclebank and Transport for London. TfL believes that more people walking and biking means less pollution, less traffic congestion and healthier Londoners. The way it works is that a smartphone app records any trip on foot or bicycle and awards points for each one. Then the walker or cycler trades in points for special deals and discounts at participating reward partners.
Recyclebank intends to expand far beyond London if this scheme proves successful. According to the CEO, Jonathan Hsu, they hope to convince other cities in the UK and throughout Europe that individuals can make a difference in the move towards a greener environment. The company already has schemes in place for household waste recycling in Maidenhead and Windsor, and they expect to put those into operation in other boroughs also.
The partnership with TfL is underway on a test basis; Recyclebank is looking for more partners to participate on the rewards side of the plan. If things look promising, there will be an official launch early in 2012.