Notes from the Mediascape: Sunchips and Nat Geo partner to green America

Green Effect contest winners and their earth-friendly ideas will be profiled in National Geographic magazine, and will present their projects to environmental leaders in Washington, DC.

On the heels of PepsiCo’s recent announcement that in 2010 Frito-Lay SunChips will introduce the first fully compostable snack chip bag made from plant-based, renewable materials, a new online initiative with National Geographic will help consumers make their green dreams a reality.

Helmed by Juniper Park, the program, kicked off on Earth Day. The ‘Green Effect’ invites consumers to submit ideas on how to make their communities greener, and five $20,000 grants will help the winners turn those ideas into reality. Participants can upload their ideas to until June 8 in an essay that describes their green idea, its impact on the local community and how the grant money will be used.

Ten finalists will be selected in early July by a panel of judges including National Geographic Weekend host Boyd Matson, from which five winners will be selected – four by a second panel of prestigious judges and one by consumers through online voting. In addition to the $20,000 prize to fund their green projects, the winners and their earth-friendly ideas will be profiled in National Geographic magazine and will travel to Washington, DC to share their projects with environmental leaders.

‘Not only do we want to challenge consumers to submit their ideas, but we also want to inspire them,’ says Matson. ‘Even if it’s just to listen and learn about something they hadn’t thought of before – so that the ‘Green Effect’ takes on a life of its own.’

This marks the second collab for the CPG co and media brand. Earlier this year, Frito-Lay and National Geographic teamed up to create an editorial supplement polybagged with the magazine entitled, ‘Solutions for A Better World: A Lighter Footprint,’ detailing the world’s current dependency on fossil fuels and delving into the realities of alternative solutions. The ‘Solutions’ supplement also featured National Geographic editors discussing critical issues facing the world today.

Last year on Earth Day, the SunChips brand inaugurated a solar concentrator field at Frito-Lay’s Modesto, California facility, one of seven Frito-Lay plants across the country, harnessing sun power to help in the production of SunChips.