What score do you think you would get if you were rated on the number of eco-friendly deeds you do every day?Â Just like buildings (businesses, museums, homes, libraries, etc) can be certified green, now so can people, with a new type of green certification called 'PineMark'. The invention of a new Southern California-based company, Pinemark.com helps you calculate your level of greenness based on a few facts about your lifestyle, but also suggests ideas to become more sustainable and offers their qualified members discounts on green products.
How Does It Work?
On their website, Pinemark asks people interested in getting certified (or â€œpinemarkedâ€) to provide some information about their electricity, water and gas consumption, as well as the make and year of their car, the number of miles driven annually, the number of showers taken weekly etc. They estimate the survey will take about 8 minutes, but we found it took a good 15 minutes to go through bills and other data properly.Â The score you receive is based on four components: Energy, Transportation, Water, and Lifestyle. Pinemark takes into account variables such as geographical location, and uses information about vehicle mileage from Fueleconomy.govÂ as well as the national average of water consumption to formulate their estimate. Based on your answers, you will -or not- qualify to become Pinemark Certified.
Once the company determines you qualify, you will be asked to mail in, fax or uploadÂ two documents as â€œproofâ€ of your green lifestyle: a utility bill (gas, heating or water), and the choice between another utility bill or other evidence of sustainable livingÂ (a receipt from an Energy Star appliance, for carbon offsets, a photograph of your car or motorcycle showing the make, etcâ€¦).
What Are The Benefits?There are several. First, as emotional beings, some of us need to get confirmation that we are indeed doing the â€œrightâ€ environmental thing: a certification can be reassuring and encouraging. Second, this certification gives you 10-20% discounts to numerous green products, from apparel to health and beauty to traveling, hence helping you save money. As can happen though, a few of the products offered may not be as eco-friendly or healthy as we would like: it is the case, for example, for SmartShield Sunscreens lotion which contains Parabens and Triethanolamine (or TEA, a potential carcinogen), so make sure to do some research on the product before buying it. Lastly, as social beings, we grow and better ourselves from interacting with people, like-minded or not: discussing your PineMark score with others can be an incentive in itself to do more for the environment.
How Much Does It Cost?There is a one-time $39 certification fee per individual ($49 per family).
What Do You Think?
Let us and others know what you think about this lifestyle certification by dropping a comment in the box below. Thanks for sharing!