Sometimes it seems like every new business is promoting itself as “Green” or “Eco-friendly.” The problem, however, becomes when many companies start using the word and diluting the meaning. Now its usage can imply many things from using environmentally safe materials and promoting green solutions to sending a tax deductible donation to some environmental group each year. What never happens however, at least until now, was a company that actually pays the public to be environmentally active.
Developed by Sean Auriti, Emrals is essentially an eBin, or trash receptacle with a sensor installed to register when garbage is thrown inside. The unit is powered by batteries and a solar panel and outfitted with a touchscreen to allow users to enter their information to receive payment and a camera for anyone who wants to simply upload or take a picture of garbage that needs to be picked up and listing a bounty that they will pay.
There are two ways to use the bins. The first is basically anonymous. If you are walking around the streets and spot some trash you can take a photo, upload it into the bin and then put a value on it for other miners to profit. If the user actually deposits trash, and is willing to enter personal information, they can receive Bitcoins in payment for helping to clean the streets. This idea is very new however and it is questionable that many people will want to divulge personal information so that trash is picked up.
There are currently only three of these eBins in existence with the hope that the trend continues to grow. Bloomberg's Mark Gimein said a few months ago that 24 hours of mining used $147,000 (£86,000) of electricity, which is a huge drain on resources and a contributor to global warming. This idea will not address that problem specifically but it is the beginning of a solution to a huge problem: waste and pollution. Sean Auriti told Motherboard Bitcoin can be mined with real world actions and help make the world a better, cleaner place to live.
Ebins like this can be assembled for less than $400 and are made by assembling a Raspberry Pi, solar panels, batteries and a touchscreen and then combining it with a yet to be released application that allows users to upload photos. Auriti is also considering adding cash exchanges and encouraging businesses to offer discounts and bonuses to people who deposit trash to get more brands and chains into the promotion of a cleaner world.