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Yahoo! Issues 'Greenest City in America' Challenge With Reward of Hybrid Taxi Fleet

With the multi-megawatt backdrop of New York City's Times Square, Yahoo! Inc will issue a challenge today in search of the greenest city in America. Co-founder David Filo, joined by actor Matt Dillon and Global Green USA CEO Matt Petersen, will introduce "Be a Better Planet", a program that empowers Americans to take action against climate change. Consumers participate by using Yahoo! tools, resources and communities to become better planetarians.

The winning city, which will be announced following the program's conclusion on June 8th, will be rewarded with a fleet of hybrid taxi cabs or the equivalent cash donation, to be dedicated toward city greening projects. To kick off the program, Yahoo! will also donate a fleet of hybrid taxis to New York City, recently determined to produce 1% of all U.S. greenhouse gases. By displacing traditionally fueled cabs with hybrid taxis, Yahoo! will be helping New York City edge closer to its ambitious environmental goals. The City will also save enough gas to drive a hybrid vehicle 56 times around the Earth.

"Americans everywhere are taking notice of the increasingly dire predictions around global climate change," said Yahoo!'s David Filo. "We want to make it easy for consumers to do something, as well as help them build enduring habits that can truly make a difference. We believe many small individual actions can add up to significant change."

The program coincides with the introduction of Yahoo! Green, a new site launching as a one-stop resource for the growing number of environmentally-concerned consumers. The eco-site is designed to inform and empower consumers with the latest news, tips, and ways to take action. The site features a personalized plan to protect the planet -- a pledge that allows consumers to choose from a menu of actions to reduce their personal carbon emissions and see the collective impact of everyone who participates. In the near future, it will include the latest environmental headlines from Yahoo! News; featured content from Global Green USA, Environmental Defense, NRDC, and Lime; blog feeds from environmental authority Amory Lovins, Environmental Defense's chief scientist Bill Chameides and EcoGeek; green shopping tips; the site; relevant content from Yahoo! Answers, Yahoo! Groups, the Yahoo! Autos Green Center; with even more content and features to come.

"Part of reducing global warming pollution can be as simple as turning off the lights when not being used, changing to compact fluorescent light bulbs and walking or using public transportation more often," said Matt Dillon. "I'm excited to support Global Green USA's work with Yahoo! to get the word out about more simple solutions to global warming through this program -- I urge everyone to take the pledge to make their city the greenest in the country."

Dillon will also ask the question "What are the most effective yet simple ways people can save energy?" on Yahoo! Answers, the leading Q&A site on the Web, inviting people to share their thoughts and offer advice.

Lower Carbon Diets with Yahoo! Green, Yahoo! Answers and Yahoo! Mobile

To participate in the "Be a Better Planet" promotion, users can do one or more of the following:
  • Yahoo! Answers: Help save the planet by answering an environmental question and contributing to the growing body of knowledge and advice on Yahoo! Answers;
  • Yahoo! oneSearch: Learn more about living a greener life by conducting a "green" mobile search on Yahoo! oneSearch, a new search service with results optimized for the mobile phone. Consumers can enter keywords such as "organic food," "public transport," "recycle center," "bike," and "ride share" to find relevant resources;
  • Take the Green Pledge: Visit Yahoo! Green and commit to lowering their carbon diet by pledging such actions as changing light bulbs, taking public transportation, using reusable shopping bags, properly inflating tires, and recycling more.
Participants earn points with each green action, contributing to their hometown's overall ranking, which will be visible nearly in real-time on an interactive national map. They will also receive a free energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL), while supplies last.

The "Be a Better Planet" promotion is part of Yahoo!'s new integrated branding campaign, "Be a Better ___," which launched on April 30 with online, television, radio and cinema advertising. Its goal is to inspire consumers and businesses to be better at whatever interests them by tapping Yahoo!'s breadth of products and services.

"Our buildings and transportation are two of the greatest contributors to global warming," said Global Green USA's Matt Petersen. "Across the country, cities are leading the fight against global warming -- through green policies, sustainable buildings, and solar power -- while our federal government fails to act. We applaud Yahoo! for mobilizing its users to shift their actions, and in turn further reduce the impact of our cities on the environment."

Global Green USA -- which works with cities to create policies, programs, and incentives to create more cost-effective, energy efficient, healthier buildings -- will partner with the winning city to green a school, city building, or a citywide green building program should the winning city choose Yahoo!'s cash donation in lieu of hybrid taxis.

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