Prizes Abound In Yahoo’s Search For Greenest City

    May 14, 2007

An A-list actor . . . two fleets of hybrid taxis . . . and Yahoo!  These are the central elements of the new “Be a Better Planet” campaign, launched today.  The environment is, of course, intended to be the big winner here, but two American cities – and up to 150,000 private citizens – also stand to benefit.

Those citizens will receive compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) after “taking the green pledge,” “shar[ing] what you know on Yahoo! Answers,” or “get[ting] better, greener results with Yahoo oneSearch.”  That translates to a fair gain for very little pain, right?  But participating in the “Be a Better Planet” program can have a larger impact; hybrid taxis are, after all, much bigger than CFLs.

One fleet of taxis has already been promised to New York City (which was “recently determined to produce 1% of all U.S. greenhouse gases,” according to Yahoo), but that leaves the other ten vehicles unclaimed.  They will go to the winning city in this contest – the greenest city, as designated by the search engine company.

A Yahoo spokesperson outlined the potential benefits in a phone interview with WebProNews: 40,000 gallons of gas will be saved, assuming the hybrid taxis are replacing Crown Vics (the aging, overweight mainstays of most taxi fleets).  A press release put the savings into other terms: “enough gas to drive a hybrid vehicle 56 times around the Earth.”

There is also, as mentioned earlier, a famous face involved in all of this – Matt Dillon.  Other potentially recognizable participants include Matt Petersen (the CEO of Global Green USA), Lester Brown (President of the Earth Policy Institute), and Bill Chameides (Chief Scientist of Environmental Defense); Yahoo’s rounded up a pretty impressive gang.

Join them while you can.  The “Be a Better Planet” program concludes on June 8, so it’d be wise to do your part for your environment, your city, and your CFL bulb before then.