Web site helps consumers keep more in their wallets, send less to landfills.
AltUse.com, aims to be the largest comprehensive resource for alternative use strategies in the world by enabling site visitors to search, post, rank, and share ideas for extending the lifecycle of everyday products. The site leverages Wiki collaboration, search, and user-generated content technologies across numerous product categories. In addition, the site also features a patent pending algorithm that rates each alternative use submitted. Believing that less can truly be more, Co-founders Benjamin Goldfarb and Mike Wheeler have created a worldwide repository of alternative uses to extend the utility of everyday products. In an age of financial hardship, perilous climate change, and overflowing landfills, AltUse.com offers a smart, comprehensive system to tap into the collective intellectual capital of the planet to discover and share valuable recycle and reuse strategies.
“We’re part of the crowd sourcing phenomenon, tapping into the planet’s collective wisdom so we can all live more responsibly,” said Co-founder Goldfarb who also serves as AltUse’s president of Technology. “Through AltUse.com we enable site visitors to save money and to help save the environment, by putting their stuff to work in new ways.”
Additionally AltUse.com offers a catalyst for change in the business world by challenging the notion of marketing products for one specific purpose. The site is expected to be a valuable platform for consumer goods manufacturers to learn more about their customers, as well as to measure the alternative use potential of their products. “We seek to increase manufacturing efficiency and product quality, while cutting down on unnecessary waste,” said Co-founder Wheeler who also serves as president of Products for AltUse.com.
Setting AltUse.com apart from other sources of alternative use information is the site’s proprietary, patent pending technology that generates a rating for every AltUse based on voting by registered site visitors. This enables a simple comparison of the functional value of a particular AltUse verses other AltUses. For example, an AltUse with a score of four stars is regarded as superior to an AltUse with a score of three stars. However the rating is directional and is not the definitive value of an AltUse as ultimately each AltUse is valuable to end-users based on particular needs and individual experiences.
In its Beta phase, AltUse.com content has grown to more than 250 AltUses throughout 21 separate categories, including home and household items, transportation, garden, fitness, games, health and wellness, beauty, and pet care. The most popular strategies posted to date include using instant mashed potato mix to eliminate rodents, an acne remedy made from crushed-up aspirin, and making plastic shopping bags into fashionable bowls and storage containers.
Forecasts call for the site to host 1.9 million unique visitors, 20,000 alternative use content submissions and 77,000 site registrants later this year. Individuals can follow AltUse.com on Twitter or can subscribe to the AltUse Blog. An AltUse.com fan page on Facebook has been attracting new members daily and AltUse.com can be found on LinkedIn by searching for it under “groups.”
“We believe that less can truly be more,” continues Goldfarb. “We simply have too much stuff. It’s time for Americans to go on a clutter diet and make their existing items work for them.” Wheeler agrees stating that “Ultimately, the AltUse brand name will become a noun such as ‘Kleenex,’ or a verb such as ‘Google,’ (i.e., What’s the AltUse?) and our timing couldn’t be better. The Web site empowers average citizens to make a difference in the battle against climate change, at the same time inspiring them to find new and clever ways to save money using products they already own.”