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EcoUnit - very cool concept

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I came across a new  site recently that I think has a great concept going - it's called EcoUnit.

 

The idea is that you, as an eco-minded consumer, agree to take market research surveys a few times per month in exchange for EcoUnits that can be exchanged for carbon offsets.

 

Companies pay Ecounit to get access to their list of consumers, but I think it's great for two reasons:

  1. It provides a quick, fun way to earn some carbon offsets (I took the first survey, it was painless)
  2. The companies that are paying for your input are obviously interested in improving their sustainability practices and appealing to the growing green demand. Why not help guide them to do it right instead of greenwashing?

 

I'm thinking about trying to work with them in the future to give Huddlers EcoUnits for participation here...what do people think about that?

post #2 of 14

"Companies pay Ecounit to get access to their list of consumers, but I think it's great for two reasons:"

 

This is my biggest turn-off. The damn spammers. I hate 'em. Green doesn't change the viral way in which they work. They always give you some reason(s) to think it's great. 'You can have a free music download, subscription, membership, trial, etc., just fill out this form with your contact information so we can send you annoying sales pitches. Then, somehow, magically the other spammers get yer email address, likely from a spammer meeting in hell, and you start receiving countless offers for penis enlargement, or a hot girl.

 

Just my two cents.

 

John

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Haha, fair enough criticism...generally when you read the Terms of Service (TOS) it calls out pretty clearly whether or not they are going to sell your email address to those marketing organizations or just keep it for interactions within the site. As an example, we collect the e-mail addresses of Huddler users so send PM notifications and Subscriptions, but it's very clearly called out in the TOS that we will NEVER sell them or allow any partner of ours to send you email without your explicit permission.

 

One good thing that you can do to track this sort of thing is to append your email address with more information. I don't know how it works in other services, but for Gmail (which I use for personal mail), you can append anything after a "+" and it will still come to you. For example, if a company asks for your email address and you're skeptical, submit NavyJohn+HuddlerSpam@gmail.com and it will get sent to NavyJohn@gmail.com just fine, but it will say it was sent to "NavyJohn+HuddlerSpam" so you can see that it's Huddler that betrayed your trust (which we won't.)

 

Anyway, point is, you have to read the TOS and in most cases you'll be all right.


Edited by deej - Thu, 20 Mar 2008 16:31:04 GMT
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

Also - here is EcoUnit's Privacy Policy

 

It's explicit that they won't send you to spam land...

post #5 of 14

Potentially it sounds like a cool idea.  I signed up for it and will give further input after I try it out for a while.

post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deej:

Haha, fair enough criticism...generally when you read the Terms of Service (TOS) it calls out pretty clearly whether or not they are going to sell your email address to those marketing organizations or just keep it for interactions within the site. As an example, we collect the e-mail addresses of Huddler users so send PM notifications and Subscriptions, but it's very clearly called out in the TOS that we will NEVER sell them or allow any partner of ours to send you email without your explicit permission.

 

One good thing that you can do to track this sort of thing is to append your email address with more information. I don't know how it works in other services, but for Gmail (which I use for personal mail), you can append anything after a "+" and it will still come to you. For example, if a company asks for your email address and you're skeptical, submit NavyJohn+HuddlerSpam@gmail.com and it will get sent to NavyJohn@gmail.com just fine, but it will say it was sent to "NavyJohn+HuddlerSpam" so you can see that it's Huddler that betrayed your trust (which we won't.)

 

Anyway, point is, you have to read the TOS and in most cases you'll be all right.


Edited by deej - Thu, 20 Mar 2008 16:31:04 GMT

Good deal. Thanks fer the info.

post #7 of 14

i have a seperate email address that i give when signing up for random things that i'm not sure of spam policy.... i have my personal email and then my "spam" email. LOL. i find that helps. so for most things that i do involving companies, or buying online, or anything commerce like...i give that "spam" email address instead of my family and friends email....

 

dont worry, huddler, you have my family and friends email.  ;-)

post #8 of 14

Ok, I finally got around to checking this site out, but I only fer a minute, right now. It looks pretty cool. I plan to delve into it more later.

 

John

post #9 of 14

I did a survey for 1 EcoUnit credit, which is supposed to offset 440 pounds of CO2. I am still unclear on this whole offset thing. Is it advertising, etc. dollars that are paid to fund some good use instead?

 

When a big company buys 'carbon offfsets' I still don't quite get how that works. Is the money used to fund research and development of alternative fuel ideas? Like the plan to buy yer way into the HOV lane out in Cali, it sounds like a good idea, but who regulates the money and how is it used?

 

John

post #10 of 14

I did my first survey too.  It was quick and simple.

 

I assume the money used for the offsets comes from advertising dollars.  EcoUnit then directs the money to a carbon offset program, meaning it goes to fund some CO2-reducing program that wouldn't have otherwise happened, such as planting or preserving trees, building a solar power plant, etc.

 

As for who regulates it - that would be whichever carbon offset program/company EcoUnit uses.  Hopefully they did the research to make sure it's a good company funding projects that really wouldn't have otherwise happened, because there are good and bad offset companies.

post #11 of 14

Hi Guys, Thanks for your interest in EcoUnit. I'm the founder of the company and want to be sure you're comfortable with how it works.  First, about spam.  Before starting EcoUnit I spent 9 years helping companies utilize email to communicate with their clients.  Spam was our arch enemy and I assure you we will respect your privacy and never give 3rd parties access to your email address or other personally identifiable information.  Second, about the offsets. We have a partner (CarbonFund.org) who manages offset projects.  Basically they are planting trees to pull CO2 from the atmosphere.  We have corporate sponsors for each program that we run, and those sponsors pay for the EcoUnit credits.  When you earn EcoUnit credits, you can redeem those credits for carbon offsets.  The mechanism for doing this on our site today is very rudimentary (you just send us an email), but in the new website design that we're working on it will be much more intuitive. Also, in the future you'll be able to redeem your EcoUnit credits for other eco-friendly products, not just offsets.  Anyway, I really appreciate everyone's interest. We'll do our best to deliver interesting programs so that you can help companies get greener while earning offsets.

post #12 of 14

Thanks Mr. Kragen, or just Kragen. That was very helpful. In appreciate yer two cents.

 

John

post #13 of 14

I'm delighted to learn of EcoUnit, have signed up, and look forward to participating in surveys. I appreciate the feedback from the founder regarding the partnership with CarbonFund. org, how the offsetting works, future eco-credits, and confirmation of their privacy policy. Thanks!

post #14 of 14

ditto, sounds like it might be neat, i'll reserve judgement til i see though ;-)

 

Quote:
 

Originally Posted by dana1981:

Potentially it sounds like a cool idea.  I signed up for it and will give further input after I try it out for a while.


 

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