sustainablog Approved: Take a Green Challenge with Bolder


As you might imagine, we have a lot of debates among ourselves within the green movement… some in public, others behind the scenes (and, yes, often over beer). The topic of green products tends to come up a lot these days, and it’s one that can lead to some heated discussion… isn’t the recent focus on “buy green” ultimately unsustainable? Aren’t we just pushing a form of consumerism? Or is this the best way to connect with a wide range of people within a consumer culture?

Tough questions… and sometimes tough insights into our own activism as we watch the growth of green consumption. You’ve got to wonder if we’re teaching people that all they have to do is buy right…

Enter Bolder, a new site that puts a different spin on the notion of buying green. Rather than promoting the purchase of green products as environmental actions in and of themselves, Bolder presents its user with action challenges: donate used clothing, eat an organic breakfast, and pick up litter in your neighborhood are all currently listed. Show you completed the action (with words and/or photos), and the company sponsoring that challenge will give you a discount. The idea isn’t so much to get people to buy green… but to take a positive action, and receive a product-based reward for doing it.

Bolder co-founder Matt McDonald
Bolder co-founder Matt McDonald

It’s a really interesting model, and so I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my recent conversations with Bolder co-founder Matt McDonald. We decided to take it to next level and do an interview… and Matt so liked the questions I gave him, and the thinking they pushed him and his team toward, that he decided to publish their responses on Bolder’s own blog. Yeah, not the way we usually do this, but I’m always flexible… and very glad that this interaction gave him a chance to reflect on the work he and and his team are doing.

So, this time, head over to Bolder’s blog to read the interview… and feel free to respond either here or there. I was really impressed with the depth of answers he gave… and think that he and his team are onto something with their model.

Come back, and let us know what you think… and whether you’ll take Bolder and their sponsors up on any of the challenges they’ve issued.

We’re glad to see that some of the brands in sustainablog’s Green Choices product comparison engine are also involved with Bolder… including Tom’s of Maine and Seventh Generation.

  1. Nathan Schock

    Very interesting. I just signed up and will post something on my blog after I play around with it a little bit. I think the focus on green consumerism has prevented us from really tapping the power the Internet has to encourage positive individual action for the environment. We’ll see if Bolder can tap into that power.

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