You may very well have already seen this advert from the Victorian Government - it's an advert encouraging people to reduce power usage and trying to cut harmful gas emissions (if you haven't seen it, check out the ad below)
I like this because it helps make the greenhouse emission problem real. Whilst making an ad is not going to win you the Imagine CUp, it got me thinking - setting targets, and helping individuals track & visualise their progresss towards their personal targets is almost as important as actually reducing emissions. I know I'm personally guilty of the "I'm just one person, what can I do?' mentality, and a good way to save the environment is to enable collective action and to help people realise that they are indeed part of a bigger solution.
If you're still looking for an Imagine Cup idea, read on...
Social networking is hot right now (thanks Paris for tainting our language). You build a small desktop app / Vista Sidebar gadget that people punch their data into and a carbon footprint is calculated. The data is then uploaded to a server and compared with other houses across the city / world, viewable on the web. You can then compare your data with your friends, shame the people who are poor performers and rub in just how environmentally friendly you are. It's an environmentally concious social networking site!
You can flesh the idea out in all sorts if ways - green dating (find other environmentally concious people in your area), green lobbying (building a collective voice of environmentaly aware citizens to make government take action) or sharing tips about how to save on your energy bill etc. The possibilities are endless. The idea is yours if you want it... I no longer have the skills required to build such a monster (it's so sad)
How is everyone going with Imagine Cup entries? 159 Australian people have registered so far - very exciting!