There is no shortage of crowdsourced ideas to clean up the Gulf oil disaster , but Pepsi is the first to step in with crowdsourced solutions to help the Gulf communities affected by BP's monumental blunder. The Do Good for the Gulf Initiative--an extension of Pepsi's Refresh Project  campaign--will award $1.3 million in grants to projects that help Gulf residents.
Pepsi will accept submissions starting on July 12 for the initiative, which is offering multiple $5,000, $25,000, $50,000, and $250,000 grants to the projects that receive the largest number of votes from online visitors. Voting closes on July 16, or when Pepsi gets 1,000 submissions.
There are a number of requirements for potential ideas--most notably, they can't be related directly to environmental impact and clean-up efforts. Instead, projects have to impact local communities and be executable within a year. It's an important distinction, especially since other organizations (i.e. the X Prize Foundation) are already offering hefty amounts of cash for oil disaster engineering solutions.
Like the larger Refresh Project, The Do Good for the Gulf Initiative is a relatively cheap way for Pepsi to get some press while polishing their halo. And make no mistake, the Refresh Project has done plenty--since launching in January, the initiative has awarded $7 million in grants. But consumers who really want to make a difference might also consider ditching the energy-intensive bottled drinks (Aquafina water, anyone?) produced by PepsiCo.
[Do Good for the Gulf ]
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