A Spanish start-up created a website through which users accumulate points for every kilometre biked or walked. The points can be redeemed for discounts and gifts in local businesses, giving users an extra incentive to choose sustainable mobility solutions.
It’s that time of the year again. As December slowly comes to an end, many people start making New Year’s resolutions. In 2016, why not vow to ditch the car and walk, jog and bike more? It is good for your health, good for the planet and it makes cities more livable. A start-up in Seville created Ciclogreen, a website that adds another incentive to sustainable transportation: users get points for cycling or walking, which they can exchange for real life prizes.
Gregorio Magno Toral presented Ciclogreen at the UN climate conference in Paris last week, during an official side event organised by GreenEcoNet, a platform for green small businesses. The founder of the website explained that his idea was to “gamify” cycling to make it more attractive to people who would otherwise use motorised vehicles for their daily commute. Ciclogreen’s interface is designed to appeal to our inner gamer. For every kilometre walked or biked, the user gets points. They can compare their performance with their friends’ in the ranking section. But, most importantly, they can exchange their points for real life gifts.
The rewards on Ciclogreen are redeemable at local businesses. Most of them are discounts, such as 25 percent off at a bike repair shop or 10 percent off at an eco-fashion store. Other gifts include a free cappuccino at a coffee shop and two tickets for the price of one at an improvisation theatre. The rewards have different values, ranging from 20 points to 200 points. Commuters collect points based on the distance travelled without a car: two points per kilometre by bike, four points per kilometre if they choose to walk.
Ciclogreen members currently have to use other apps (Moves, Strava or Runkeeper) to track their kilometres, and upload this data to the website. However, this will change in the near future; the Ciclogreen app is in development at the moment. It will allow users to track their biked/walked distance, collect points and claim rewards in one place.
Subscribing to Ciclogreen is completely free of charge. The money to maintain and develop the website comes from local businesses who pay to advertise their rewards on the website. In exchange, Ciclogreen provides them extra visibility and new local customers. Commuters also have much to gain from using the website: not only do they get real life gifts and discover local businesses, but they also lead a healthier lifestyle.The community get less traffic, cleaner air, livelier streets and busier local businesses. Finally, every car off the road contributes to the fight against climate change. Everybody wins.
For the time being, Ciclogreen is only available in Spanish and the rewards are all offered by businesses based in Spanish cities (Seville, Madrid, Málaga, Valencia and Valladollid). However, Ciclogreen's founder plans to internationalise the concept and help other cities become more sustainable.