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Frequently Asked Questions

Austin Green Business Leaders

Yes, participants must complete at least one action per section.

Yes. Each section has areas to share innovative green practices that are not covered elsewhere.

Once we receive your completed scorecard, City staff will come to your location to review supporting documentation.

The program is free to join. Simply download the scorecard, get to work on the actions, and report back to us with your success.

Yes – so please DO NOT send any documentation to the City with your scorecard to prevent this from happening. City staff will come to your location to verify the actions documented on the scorecard are accurate.

Green business means operating in a way that protects the environment, enhances the community, and maintains a healthy workplace.

The Austin Green Business Leaders program was created by the City of Austin to support Austin businesses and their pursuit of sustainability. Whether you’re an established green business or just getting started, the Green Business Leaders program can help you protect the environment, save money, and make Austin a more livable place. Businesses that excel in the program are formally recognized as Silver, Gold, or Platinum Green Business Leaders—which can give you a competitive edge with customers.

Any legitimate business can join Austin Green Business Leaders. Businesses in the program currently range from small home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies that span a variety of types such as:

  • Retail
  • Groceries/Markets
  • Restaurants
  • Banks/Financial Institutions
  • Hospitality
  • Houses of Worship
  • Manufacturing/Light industry/Warehouse

Bright Green Future School Grants

No, the program is open to all AISD and Austin area charter and private schools, as well as cities – such as Round Rock and Pflugerville – that utilize services through Austin Energy, Austin Water Utility, or Austin Resource Recovery. Unfortunately, home school classes are unable to apply for grant funding.

Yes, but only if the Office of Sustainability has received a completed Project Information Sheet for past projects.

There is no limit to the number of grants each school may apply for; however, schools are limited to receiving two (2) grants per school year. A separate application form must be completed for each project submission.

Each project may apply for up to $3,000.

Applications will be accepted from September 1 to October 15, 2017.

Grant recipients will be notified in November. Once the Office of Sustainability receives a current W-9 form from the school, checks will be processed and delivered.

EcoDistricts

Both programs foster sustainability and sustainable development at the neighborhood scale.

LEED-ND focuses on the urban planning and design of new developments to meet specific criteria for one-time certification. (Mueller in Austin was a LEED-ND pilot neighborhood, it is now Silver LEED-ND certified.) EcoDistricts focus on partnerships across a broad group of stakeholders to advance shared goals. Unlike LEED-ND, the EcoDistrict framework promotes community engagement and behavior on an ongoing basis and is applicable to existing neighborhoods.

An EcoDistrict is a neighborhood or redevelopment area that is committed to advancing sustainability through green building, smart infrastructure and individual behavior. EcoDistricts provide a framework for people to come together to set goals, define projects, engage in collaborative efforts, and raise the bar for sustainable practices.

Rethink/ Mobile App

INDIVIDUAL CHALLENGES

Earn points by Buzzing Pins when you do the action in real life. Your Challenge score is calculated based on the total points earned during the active dates of the challenge. The individual with the highest overall score when time runs out wins!

TEAM CHALLENGES

Earn points for your team by Buzzing Pins when you do the action in real life. Team scores can be scored using one of two methods: Aggregate or Moving Average.

Aggregate Team Score is calculated by summing the individual scores of team members during the Challenge and is recommended for teams of uniform size.

Moving Average Team Score is calculated by summing each individual's points earned and dividing by the total number of team members at the time of each Buzz. This method is recommended for teams of varying sizes.

The team with the highest overall score when time runs out wins!

The more the merrier, right? Once you’re participating in a Challenge, it’s easy to Invite others. Just tap on the Invite button in the Challenge and take it from there. You can Invite and they can Join up until the final round (that’s when the Challenge is about 85% done).

To find a specific action/Pin within the app, use the search bar in the top left corner of the app. You can search by Pin name if you know it, or use any keywords related to the action you're looking for. If it is an action you have recently Buzzed, look no further than the “Recent” category from the Buzz (Home) screen. The Recent category icon resembles a clock.

To share your sustainable actions with friends through Facebook or Twitter, you need to have your account connected. Begin with finding the action you want to share. Select the Pin, then tap "Buzz". A new page will pop up and give you the ability to fill in a caption, and take a photo of your action (button in top right corner shaped like a camera). Once you have a caption and/or photo, tap on the social media site of your choice, found to the left of the "Buzz" button. Once rethink/ is allowed access to your Facebook or Twitter accounts, it will post to your page when you hit "Buzz" again.

You earn points every time you make a sustainable decision, like biking to work instead of driving, or drinking local draft beer instead of imported bottles. Doing something enough times puts achievements in your app Trophy Case and shows off your sustainability skills.

From your Profile, review your Settings to see Your Communities. To Join a Community, select the Join icon. To leave a Community, deselect the Join icon. To find other Communities, use "Find People & Communities" from the Activity or Challenge sections of the app.

Open the rethink/ app. Go to the Challenge section, via the tab bar at the bottom of your screen on iOS or via the navigation drawer in the top left on Android. Find the Challenge you would like to join by scrolling through the Available Challenges or using Search. Once you've found your Challenge, select it and then use the Join Challenge button. You may be asked to Join or Create a team depending on the challenge.

Once you've selected a Challenge, use the Join Challenge button (See How Do I Join a Challenge? FAQ). If Teams are enabled for this Challenge, you will be presented with a list of available Teams or you can Create your own. Tap the Join button next to the Team name you wish to join.

You start by earning Pins, like “Bin to Win” for recycling or “Bottle Rocket” for using a reusable water bottle. Each Pin comes with visual, informative content that provides the knowledge and motivation you need to make small but significant changes in your daily habits. You “Buzz” the Pin when you complete the action and you’re rewarded with points. Share your activities with photos and posts, and follow what your friends and others are doing.

You can join the Challenge until the final round (that’s when the Challenge is about 85% done).

Challenges are held within Communities and Communities are defined by your physical location. Anyone in the rethink/ Community can join any of the available Challenges.