Green Gamification

Many platforms and projects use game mechanics to entice their users to achieve a goal. The idea comes from games that reward good behavior in players, leveling them up and giving them new items, skins, and the like. Now, imagine this same reward system being used for the purpose of protecting the environment. There are many green gamification projects that are slowly rising in popularity and are doing their part in preserving the planet.

How It Works

Gamification is basically turning a task or project into a game. We all want to hear how great we are and it is much easier to dedicate yourself to a project when you can see your progress clearly. Some of the gamification techniques are designed to provoke a small level of addiction, which is why getting addicted to video games is such a big problem. However, it turns out this could be used for good as well.

Some of the techniques include granting achievements. When you succeed in performing a task, you are awarded an achievement or badge. Another technique involves using points, virtual currency, or even experience points to track your progress.

Why Is This Important?

Many of the goods and products that we use in everyday life have a tendency to not be recycled. This does not only cause waste, but it also creates a problem of accumulating trash. There are more and more countries with strict regulations when it comes to recycling, but the process does not need to be vexing. Gamification makes the experience more tolerable, even fun. The idea is that cleaning up our neighborhoods can be a fulfilling experience.

Zero Waste Challenge

One of the green gamification movements is the Ecocity’s Zero Waste Challenge. It is designed to make us change our everyday habits in order to transform our lives into eco-friendly ones. In fact, they urge their users to take on the challenge and post their progress on Instagram. This is good for two things. First of all, it uses gamification to track your progress and make the project fun. Secondly, it uses the power of social media that many people see as the only way to be considered relevant online. This does not only create an environment where you are cheered on during your journey, but it also spreads awareness.

30 challenges involve foregoing the use of plastic straws, saving water, spending a day outside, trying to get through the day without spending any money, repairing things instead of buying new ones and much more.


Recyclebank is taking a slightly different approach. The gamification is still there, but instead of making it into a game and a challenge, they offer rewards for promoting sustainability. Each of their projects gives a certain number of points that can later be redeemed for prizes. These prizes are sometimes aimed at a person’s savings, making this endeavor extra sustainable.


TerraCycle promotes recycling in many different ways. They are known by their hashtag #RecycleEverything and allow users to join different recycling programs to clean up their surroundings. Where does the gamification fit into the mix? Well, they have a game on Facebook, called Trash Tycoon. You earn points by cleaning up virtual towns and finding sustainable solutions while you are eliminating the excess trash.