Website rewards users' eco actions with donations to favorite charity

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The Independent Online

A new website encourages users to leverage the power of their social network in order to earn money for a charity of their choice while at the same time making their own lives more sustainable. 

The new website created by Formative Labs Inc. and called Double Impact was launched in beta format on June 16.  

Users log in to Double Impact through their Facebook account and select a charity from the following options: Healthy Child Healthy World, World Wildlife Fund, Bright Pink - Breast Cancer Awareness , or the Pesticide Action Network (PAN). Having chosen their charity, users then begin earning credits by completing simple tasks which make their lives more sustainable.

These environmentally positive tasks such as shopping locally, using public transport or reducing electricity consumption are verified in a number of ways. For example users can 'check in' using their Facebook account when they are at a farmers' market and connect with their electricity provider to prove any decrease in power consumption.

These actions are then translated into credits and later money which is donated to the charity of the user's choice by brands associated with the website. The brands involved can also run challenges for Double Impact users which promote their environmentally friendly products, though the final amount donated is not disclosed by the website.

In a statement to Relaxnews, the founder and CEO of Formative Labs, Jessica Alter, stated that users of the website can nominate charities of their choice to be included in the Double Benefit initiative by contacting the company.

As the world's most widespread social network, Facebook is often used to promote environmentally positive actions through the formation of pages and groups. In addition, in a similar manner to Double Impact, games use the social networking site to reward environmentally positive actions in the real world which can be verified on Facebook.

One such game is eMission, in which players have to maintain and expand a virtual coastal habitat by completing real-world actions such as switching to energy-efficient lightbulbs. These actions are then verified either by uploading a photograph or by friends' testimonies on Facebook whereupon users are rewarded by being allowed to unlock further parts of the game.

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