Frequently Asked Questions

How are activities automatically detected?

We detect activities using three methods. Walking, cycling and motor vehicle usage come from sensors on mobile phones. You can also connect other services to Greengame (via APIs) – for example, a smart thermostat like Nest to collect energy saving Green Points, or your Twitter account to collect advocacy Green Points. And finally, we use natural language processing and machine learning to pick up activities from the email inbox – things like online grocery receipts, airline travel confirmations, receipts from shared vehicle services, transactions from upcycling apps & sites and much more. Soon we will be introducing a scanning feature, so our NLP and ML can work their magic on paper receipts.

Privacy and security are imperative on Greengame, and our approach revolves around three elements – how data is collected, how it is stored and kept safe, and how it is used.

Collection: Data is always collected with user consent, and we encrypt the transmission of that information back to our servers using secure socket layer technology (SSL).

Storage and Safety: We anonymize user names and store encrypted email addresses and activity data separately from each other, so as to never provide a full picture in the case of a breach.

Usage: We use data collected to calculate Green Points and to display your activity timeline. We never sell or share your data to third parties – unlike most free services, we do not monetise users and their data. And we delete all data captured that’s not used for the user’s timeline, Green Points or Greengame Rank, after one week.

Walking and Cycling

Green Points are awarded once every 24 hours. Walking and cycling data is provided in real time by the accelerometer sensor found in most smartphones. This requires always on permissions to the Greengame app (it won’t drain battery life).

Shared Vehicles

Current Sources: Zipcar, Uber, Hailo

Green Points are calculated automatically once the email receipt arrives in your inbox.

Public Transportation

Current Sources: Trainline, Oyster Top-Up 

Green Points are calculated automatically once the email receipt arrives in your inbox.

Air Travel (experimental)

Negative points are calculated automatically once an air travel confirmation arrives in your inbox.

No Motor Vehicle Use Bonus

Bonus Green Points are earned when you go 24 hours without using a motor vehicle. This is determined by data coming from the accelerometer sensor in your smartphone. 

Food 

Current Sources: Online Grocery Orders from Tesco, Sainsburys, Waitrose, Ocado, Riverford, Milk&More, Delicatezza, Hello Fresh, Amazon Fresh

Current Activities: Purchase of Meat, Seasonal Produce, Single Use Plastic Water Bottles and choosing delivery over placing a vehicle on the road.

Green Points and negative points are calculated automatically once the email receipt arrives in your inbox.

Future Activities: Purchase of Organic, Fairtrade,  wonky-veg, near-expiry-date products, locally produced, food sharing, home grown food, and a bonus for vegan grocery orders.

Single Use Plastics

Sources: Online Grocery Orders from Tesco, Sainsburys, Waitrose, Ocado, Riverford, Milk&More, Delicatezza, Hello Fresh, Amazon Fresh

We are currently tracking purchases of single use plastic water bottles from grocery receipts. Green Points are earned for orders not containing single use plastic bottles, negative points are earned for purchase of such items. The objective is to reduce the overall purchase of single use plastic bottles, or when inevitable, encourage purchase of larger size bottles over smaller ones. We plan on expanding this to include other single use plastic products (cutlery, dishes, cups, straws and more).

Home Energy

Smart Thermostats: Nest, Hive

From Nest and Hive’s monthly email, we reward Green Points for your performance versus other households. If you connect your Nest directly to Greengame, you will also earn daily points for setting your thermostat to an eco-friendly temperature.

Upcycling (experimental)

Current Sources: Yerdle, Vinted

Green Points are calculated automatically once an email receipt for listing or claiming an item arrives in your inbox.

Future Sources: Olio, Freecycle

Sustainable Fashion (experimental)

Test Sources: Patagonia, Zady, Peopletree, Vinted

Future: We are developing a database of sustainable fashion brands and lines so we can track purchase of ethical and eco-friendly garments via email receipts. Currently at an experimental stage as we test the concept with a few brands.

Advocacy

Current Sources: Twitter 

Green Points are earned for every like and retweet of a post containing #Greengame. This can be used to earn points for activities not tracked by Greengame. For example, a clean the beach or park outing, your home grown veg patch, a glass bottle recycling run, car-pooling with colleagues and more.

Please do! You can forward any suggestions and email receipts/confirmations from sources (supermarkets, eco-friendly products and brands, shared assets, electric/water/gas utilities, etc) you think should be tracked to data@greenga.me.

Green Points for each activity are calculated based on criteria which takes into account relative environmental impact, frequency of occurrence and impact on game dynamic. We expect to refine our model constantly as we learn more from Greengame users.

All data is tracked automatically, with no manual entry by users. This is important for both data integrity and user experience reasons. With data integrity, organizations have the confidence to offer more compelling rewards through their challenges, which in turn helps Greengame appeal to people who aren’t already interested in living sustainably. User experience wise, our user and competitive research revealed that manual data entry or pledging creates a cumbersome experience that quickly leads users to disengage.

Your Greengame Rank goes up as you score more points. Achieving a higher rank will unlock new features like the ability to create challenges, and eventually give access to special challenges, perks or events from cities, brands and other organizations. Your Greengame Rank also gives you bragging rights 🙂

Greengame challenges are competitions created by individual or institutional users. There are two types of challenges on Greengame: Contests and Duels.

In a contest, users compete for a reward based on their position on a leaderboard and may also include rewards earned by reaching an individual points target. For example, a “Sustainable Citizen” challenge from a City Council may include a council tax break for the top 3 people on the leaderboard, and also a public transportation credit to anyone who achieves a specified amount of Green Points.

Duels are competitions between two entities, where individual users back the entity of their choice. For example, duels can be between two cities, two universities, two departments within a company, etc. Each dueling team can set individual user rewards for their backers as they would in a contest.

From the middle section of the app (the challenges section), tap on “Browse Challenges”. Then click on each challenge, tap on”join“ to participate, the trash can to dismiss and the next icon to discover more challenges. You can also discover challenges created or joined by the people and organisations you follow from the updates section on the activity timeline screen.

Absolutely. The challenge creator can customize the title, description, branding, rewards structure and mix of activities that count towards that challenge. This can be done from the Create Challenge section of the app.

Individual users can create Contests once they reach a Greengame Rank of 5. Institutional users (which are validated by Greengame) such as city councils, companies, brands, universities, charities, non-profits, etc can create Contests and Duels.

Greengame is free to all individual users, City Councils that meet certain requirements, Universities, Charities and not-for-profit organizations. Greengame is also free for businesses and organizations with less than 50 employees. Businesses and organizations with more than 50 employees pay a monthly or yearly subscription fee.

Our initial release is focused on the UK, which is where we have optimized data sources. We aim to expand rapidly and are already working on optimizing for the North American region.