App of the Week: Green Trash Ninja

Did you know that the typical American family generates 4,320 pieces of trash during lunchtime? We are ECOlunchboxes, a small business specializing in waste-free lunchware. Our dream is to teach children about lunch waste in a fun way and empower them to green their lunchtime habits. How do we want to do this? By developing a smart phone game.

Imagine lunch trash flying in air. The object is to quickly swipe trash into one of 3 cans: recycling, compost & trash. If the trash goes into the correct bin, the bin lights up and blinks. If the trash misses the bin or goes into the wrong bin, it explodes and splats in a pile on the lunchroom floor. Each round has a timer and point threshold to beat.

Correctly sorted trash wins!

“Lunchtime waste is a mounting problem,” said Sandra Ann Harris, a Lafayette, Calif. mother of two who founded ECOlunchboxes specializing in no-waste and no-plastic lunchware in 2008. “But learning to reduce waste and recycle can be a fun challenge. If kids can play our game and win – they’ll know enough to green their habits at lunchtime in real life, too.”

The San Francisco Bay Area green business has developed a concept for a fun eco game for kids to sort flying lunch trash into recycling, compost and trash bins. Working against the clock with colorful lunchtime waste zipping across the screen, children will be entertained by the playful game and educated at the same time.

“Kids and adults love to play, and most of us also love to learn, connecting them produces the optimal neurological and emotional pleasure needed to reinforce the right behaviors,” explained gamification expert Gabe Zichermann, who called the ECOlunchboxes game a “cool concept.”

Development of the game will cost $8,700, so ECOlunchboxes has launched a fund-raising campaign on  a website platform specializing in crowd funding. Donors are rewarded with prizes and recognition.

ECOlunchboxes is asking people, organizations and schools who support no-waste lunches to donate as well as help spread the word about its fundraising campaign through digital media channels, such as email newsletters, Facebook and Twitter.

More information about donating to the Green Trash Ninja app project can be found at:

“We welcome any kind of help we can get – whether it’s $5 or $500 or $5,000,” Harris said. “I’m really hoping that others will see the value of developing this eco app and help us make the game available to all for free.”

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