Claritin Canada, a division of Merck, for a week in May took over Toronto’s streets with the Pedal for a Greener City campaign. The month-long initiative offered free EcoCab rides to residents and invited them to help create a greener city by voting for one of three potential urban green projects proposed for Evergreen Brick Works, a community environmental center in the heart of the city.
Throughout the promotion, Torontonians voted for one of three projects by taking a free ride on one of the 12 EcoCabs sponsored by Claritin. Each of the pedal-powered cabs, which were hand painted by local artists, was equipped with an iPad that was linked to the brand’s Facebook page where the riders voted for their favorite project. The voting page remained open throughout May. The proposed projects were: a wetland naturalization that would plant 200 native trees and shrubs around a 15,000-square-foot hybrid wetland/pond; an urban pollinator garden that would support local pollinators like Monarch butterflies and honey bees; and a food garden, where raised beds and container gardens with herbs, fruit trees and vegetables would be planted throughout the Brick Works’ children’s area. The food garden was the winning idea and the brand has already begun planting it.
In addition to the cabs, a stationary pedal bike was placed inside the city’s Eaton Centre mall during the week, and shoppers could contribute by hopping on and logging some kilometers. For each kilometer pedaled, the brand donated one dollar to the effort (up to $25,000 total), in addition to each kilometer clocked on every EcoCab throughout the campaign.
“Claritin has been around for 25 years now, and we wanted to reconnect with allergy sufferers in a new way,” Melissa Ferlaino, associate product manager on allergy for Claritin, told Buzz. “Pedal for a Greener City is a great way to link the brand to the outdoors. We tried to make Toronto a little greener and more fun.”