PepsiCo’s Dream Machine Helps Veterans Start Their Own Businesses
Over this past summer I ventured to the sweetest place on earth to spend a day at my favorite amusement park in America, Hershey Park!
As I was walking around in between rides, I stumbled upon a seemingly out of place big blue machine…The Dream Machine.
At first I thought it was some sort of bizarre futuristic soda vending contraption, but upon a closer look I noticed the words:
“For every can or bottle you recycle here, PepsiCo will make a donation to help disabled veterans start their own businesses.”
So I did a bit of digging online at www.dreammachinelocator.com to find out more…Here’s how it works:
Through the Dream Machine Program, PepsiCo has committed to make a minimum contribution of $500,000 per year over the next several years to the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV), a national program offering highly effective practical training to veterans, free of cost, in entrepreneurship and small business management, for returning post-9/11 U.S. veterans with disabilities. The more that people recycle bottles and cans in a Dream Machine, the more support PepsiCo can provide EBV. In fact, for every 10 million pounds of recycled beverage containers collected, PepsiCo will contribute an additional $250,000 to the veteran organization.
To increase participation, PepsiCo has placed over 4,000 kiosks and bins across the United States, at strategic locations such as gas stations, university campuses, schools, industrial layouts and supermarkets. The firm has over 150 partners — such as colleges, universities, hospitals, industries, military bases and shopping malls — that host Dream Machine kiosks.
Besides helping our veterans, PepsiCo hopes that it’s Dream Machine initiative will increase the U.S. recycling rate of beverage containers from 34% to 50% by 2018. Aluminum cans and PET bottles recovered through Dream Machine kiosks and bins are used not only in making new beverage containers, but are also converted into new products (which is doubly awesome!)
In addition, Dream Machine kiosk users earn personal reward points for every bottle or can they recycle. The reward points can be redeemed online for local discounts, or for coupons for travel, dining, and entertainment. Entrepreneurs, such as restaurant and shopping mall owners, feel that the Dream Kiosk enables them to give their customers a more environmentally friendly solution for disposing empty cans and bottles, as well as rewarding them with coupons.
So this veterans day (Sunday, November 11th, 2012), in honor of our troops who have protected and served our nation, allow me to suggest two simple ways we can show our support and gratitude:
- Hug at least one of our veterans to show them how much you appreciate their service (virtual hugs work great too!). I make a point to do this every year, and my veteran friends absolutely love it.
- Go to www.dreammachinelocator.com to find the nearest Dream Machine in your area where you can deposit your recyclables to help a veteran start their own business.
Mara is the creator and founder of thebizzybuzz.com, an e-mail publishing company known for sharing the latest buzz, tools, tips, and finds with an active community of bizzy women entrepreneurs daily… in 350 words or less.