Do I want to do a shameless plug? Yes, I do.
REE is our answer to shaking the status quo that we discussed in the previous letter. Traditional way of working has its perks. You know how it works? You know what you are getting in return. A small change in the equilibrium and it is still manageable. “If it’s not broken, why fix it”? But that is the thing. How far do we go till we realize this is now way beyond repair?
The damage was done when we decided to not take the leap.
With REE, it is the complete opposite. I can write a whole lot of pages which show me as this visionary, with tech skills to boot. But that is not true. My journey is just me trying to solve a pain point. A pain point that came at me as fast a Formula One race car when COVID-19 hit. Over the years, I have separated my general waste from my recyclables. I even do that when I go for my weekly football games; collect all the bottles and store them in my car so I can drop it off to the closest centre. I did this because I wanted to do my bit for the environment, albeit a small bit. Fast forward a couple of years, and some existing customers from my Energy Auditing business, wanted to know what happens with their waste once they dump it, and low and behold, a flame was ignited. Fast forward, another couple of months and we are hit by COVID. Next thing I know I have 8 big black bags full of plastic bottles. Six to seven boxes of beer and wine bottles. A mess, that if I asked my mum to describe, would be labelled as something from hell. The more I added to my Devilish pile, the more I could not shake off the thought: — How much would this be worth if I could give it to a company rather than the usual, ‘shove it in the trash chute and I’ve done my job’. Turns out, for my loot, decent. But it did get me thinking: what if there are people that can help you collect more, and on a regular basis, while the upside to the customer would be discounts in their favourite hangout places? Discounts at places they shop. The whole nine yards. Transparency for discounts? Culture change for having a solution that makes it easier for you to recycle. Seemed like a fair trade.
That is exactly how REE started or why it was started. I, personally, did not want to carry all my waste downstairs and not have an inkling where it ends up. I did not want to be a part of a solution that does not offer anything to me. I am not just talking monetary. I am talking about everything else. Feel good factor. My personal affect on the environment. I wanted more, while at the same time, giving back more.
Aaaand, that is exactly what REE is. REE is a smart, time efficient app that allows you to get complete transparency from pick up to the point of recycling or resale, while allowing you to gain rewards. More you recycle, more you win. Simple. Easy. Elegant. A modern solution to modern times.
Will be writing more on how we built this and what problems we faced. What exciting ways we are going to be using REE in. All of that, in our weekly newsletter. Sign up. Heard it is great. Shameless plug for self-promotion. Again.
Will leave you with a quote from one of my favourite authors, Seth Godin. “The desire to avoid change is rarely held to the same standards as progress. By the time the shadow is gone, it might be too late”. Let us all throw away our doubts, oh so many doubts, and help us in, TRYING, to reset our waste culture.