An initiative from TerraCycle incorporates recycling into a game. In 2011 TerraCycle, the company which turns trash into eco-products, launched Trash Tycoon, a Facebook game that teaches players to upcycle. Instead of planting crops or building cities as in FarmVille or CityVille, in Trash Tycoon the player cleans houses and town buildings such as a library, a school and a town hall. Players also build factories, which upcycle and recycle the collected trash and include a worm farm, glass smelter, plastic extruder, injection molder, paper recycler and greenhouse.
Players earn game money and points for the amount of waste that they upcycle into products. The products that the game produces are the same TerraCycle products on the shelves and on their website. In Canada, the upcycled Kool-Aid pencil case or the Kit Kat tote bag for instance are made from used drink pouches and Chocolate bar wrappers.
When players start making these products, they can get an idea of what it takes to make these things in real life, and how they can be made from trash that we produce every day. Today, almost 1,000,000 Canadians are collecting trash for TerraCycle diverting more than 2,000,000 waste units from landfill.
The online game helps both learn about the environment and raise money for CarbonFund.org, an environmental non-profit. 10% of all in-game currency will be donated to a CarbonFund project, and players will get to choose from three monthly projects to support with their efforts.
To play the game click here.
© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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