While Earth Day is Sunday, April 22 worldwide, the Yelp Green Team aims to make every day an Earth Day! The Green Team grew organically (green bin, anyone?) from one-off efforts into an overarching initiative to create awareness of environmental sustainability and introduce changes around the offices that make it easy for Yelpers to reduce their carbon footprint.
The Green Team began as a Hackathon project when Engineering Manager Nicolas Chourrout and other Yelpers saw an opportunity to handle the misplaced waste in Yelp bins. They formed the seedlings of the Green Team, whose first initiative was to place signs showing where to sort Yelp snacks post-consumption (such as apple cores, Stroopwafel wrappers, soda cans, etc.). Several iterations and members later, Engineer Rishabh Rao designed adorable, attention-grabbing signs tailored to all types of snack waste at Yelp:
Green Team members then began posting these signs on every Yelp floor of the building next to their respective snacks, empowering Yelp snackers to put snacks in their bellies and the correct bins afterward.
Losing no momentum, during the next Hackathon, Nicolas and Adela Chang of the Green Team put their engineering expertise to use to create an educational video game called Green Ninja, loosely based on Fruit Ninja™. Wrappers from the Yelp snack stash are flung in the air, and you, the ninja, must swiftly (and accurately) sort them into the correct bins. After five strikes, correctly sorted items are tallied for your score. Yelp is awarding a prize to the top player (a.k.a. new top recycler) at the end of Earth Week–while Green Ninja is only available internally, the team hopes to publish the game if there is sufficient interest.
Aside from its snack focus, the Green Team also enjoys providing more substantive food for thought: in the last year, the Green Team has welcomed Cassidy Ellis, a corporate sustainability consultant, and Bea Johnson, a Zero Waste lifestyle evangelist to speak at Yelp about lifestyle changes that can help us be better stewards of our planet.
The only thing the Green Team loves more than correctly sorted waste is new friends. If you are interested in joining, partnering with us at your company, or presenting at Yelp, please reach out at email@example.com!