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South Korea Launches Eco Credits Program That Lets Citizens Earn Cash for Buying Green

Posted By Jessica Dailey On January 13, 2011 @ 9:15 am In Green Business,News,social responsibility | 2 Comments

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With electric buses [1], a huge forthcoming wind farm [2], and dozens of ecotastic [3] buildings [4], South Korea is a leader in implementing sustainable development and promoting greener choices. As a part of a new policy plan announced by the Ministry of Environment, the Asian country has begun offering “green credits” for consumers who embrace a low-carbon lifestyle. The ministry issued green credit chips that are embedded into consumers’ credit cards. The chips store points when a cardholder buys certified green products or pays for green services, like public transportation [5].  The credits can be redeemed for cash or they can be used to lower utility bills. Something as simple as saying no to a paper cup at a coffee shop or properly recycling batteries can rack up the carbon points.

The ministry issued green credit chips that are embedded into consumers’ credit cards. The chips store points when a cardholder buys certified green products or pays for green services, like public transportation [6].  The credits can be redeemed for cash or they can be used to lower utility bills. Something as simple as saying no to a paper cup at a coffee shop or properly recycling batteries can rack up the carbon points.

The program is part of South Korea’s plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2020. A senior official at the Climate Change Cooperation division at the ministry said that the government opted to create a new spending program for green living because they believe it will be more successful than something created by private companies, who could use it as a marketing strategy.

The city government of Seoul is also launching an eco-mileage credit card, allowing residents to receive coupons for the purchase of hybrid cars and eco-friendly appliances if they conserve electricity and water. Samsung Electronics [7] and Hyundai Motor [8] are both taking part.

Green products are typically more expensive than those that are less environmentally friendly, so a program that can save consumers money while encouraging them to buy greener seems like a win-win. What do you think? Can credit cards help save the planet?

Via Mother Nature Network [9]


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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/south-korea-launches-eco-credits-program-that-lets-citizens-earn-cash-for-buying-green/

URLs in this post:

[1] electric buses: http://www.inhabitat.com/south-korea-unveils-worlds-first-commerical-electric-bus/

[2] wind farm: http://inhabitat.com/south-korea-announces-8-2-billion-offshore-wind-farm/

[3] ecotastic: http://inhabitat.com/south-korea-unveils-stunning-eco-dome-environmental-center/

[4] buildings: http://inhabitat.com/songdo-ibd-south-koreas-new-eco-city/

[5] public transportation: http://inhabitat.com../tag/public-transportation

[6] public transportation: http://inhabitat.com/tag/public-transportation

[7] Samsung Electronics: http://www.samsung.com/us/

[8] Hyundai Motor: http://www.hyundaiusa.com/

[9] Mother Nature Network: http://www.mnn.com/money/sustainable-business-practices/stories/south-korea-promotes-credit-cards-for-greener-living

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