Creative Citizen recently launched their public beta after being in private beta since September 2007. The two founders, Argam DerHartunian and Scott Badenoch, believe that their service is a key piece to what has been missing in the environmental movement. The two created a wiki-platform to embrace and harness the fact that sustainability is amorphous at best and is truly comprised of endless moving targets. At the same time, they’ve given quantifiable metrics to “going green” that should work to shift people from confusion to action.
When you see that something like turning the water off while you brush your teeth can save thousands of gallons of water a year, you’re more likely to start turning that water off. The site works as a place to tabulate and compile the world’s environmental information by housing it in the form of Creative Solutions, or actions you can take to become green. Solutions can be either habits, products or services and Creative Citizen encourages all companies selling things that claim to be green to post a solution about their product or service. Argam says that this is particularly valuable for green companies looking to exhibit their products and services. “The technology we’ve developed optimizes each solution for high search engine rankings and allows green companies to gain the visibility they need across the web.” Signing up and posting solutions is completely free for anyone.
Users can go through the site and adopt these solutions to living more eco-friendly lives and then keep track of all the things they’ve been adopting in their profile. Via a friend feature, you can then see what all your friends are doing and further discussions about what has worked for you and what hasn’t. Features like “Related Solutions” gives the user a thread to follow, which is particularly helpful when one is new to the whole green thing.
Scott, their CEO, believes that if people are actually going to incorporate environmentalism into their lives in a holistic manner, “going green” must be realistic, actionable and incremental: “No one is going to throw away their lifestyle and start wearing loin cloths and walking everywhere. It’s vital that the green movement find a place in people’s lives that saves them time, resources and money, rather than the other way around.”
Another goal for Creative Citizen is to work on what Scott calls the “Green is Grey” problem. While there are some black and white areas to sustainability, most of what we know is genuinely grey. The products and services are new, with little if any R&D to back up their claims, and the abundance of Greenwashing creates massive confusion and frustration in the marketplace. Creative Citizen puts the focus on the companies making these claims by allowing them to explain why they say their product or service is green and then allowing for users to provide feedback. If a product claims to be green and isn’t, the Creative Citizen community will likely make a point of it; companies will have to respond by explaining their findings, improving their products or simply ending their claims to being “green.” This seems to be one of the most interesting ways to raise awareness and transparency at the same time.
To sign up visit CreativeCitizen.com