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Ecochallenge Platform FAQs

Powered by (formerly Northwest Earth Institute) since 2009, the Ecochallenge Platform is an online educational platform that challenges you through Ecochallenges to take action on environmental and social issues that matter to you. Our global, public, free-to-join Ecochallenges generally span 21 days, as common wisdom says it takes at least three weeks to change a habit. If you can stick with new behavior for 21 days in a row, we believe you’re a lot more likely to keep it up in the long-term.

Throughout an Ecochallenge, Ecochallengers earn points for taking action, share their progress and reflect on the platform's social feed, and watch the impact they create add up in realtime alongside the impact created by fellow Ecochallengers!

Learn more about our free public Ecochallenges, as well as how organizations, schools, and municipalities are designing custom Ecochallenges to engage their communities and create impact.

If it’s your first Ecochallenge, read through How It Works for instructions.

If you’ve participated in an Ecochallenge before and are having trouble joining another one, it may be because you’re attempting to create a new profile using an email address that already exists. It’s important to note that once you’ve participated in an Ecochallenge, you need only LOGIN to future Ecochallenges. If you’re a previous participant wishing to join a new Ecochallenge, simply click the LOGIN link on the Ecochallenge homepage to bypass the registration process and enter the new Ecochallenge.

If you’ve participated in past Ecochallenges, be sure to review the question above. If you’ve successfully registered for the Ecochallenge, and are having trouble, first make sure you’re using the correct email address to log in. If you’re using the correct email address and are unable to gain access, next try resetting your password. If after following those steps you’re still unable to login, please contact Ecochallenge Support.

On the login page, simply click FORGOT PASSWORD?, and the platform will send reset instructions to the email address you provided at registration.

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Registration remains open until the end date of the Ecochallenge. While people can register on the last day, we recommend registering at least a week before the start of the Ecochallenge so that you can explore actions, build your team, and connect with other participants on the feed. Registering early will give you the most success in designing your Ecochallenge experience.

No. Participants are free to change teams as often as desired, but can only reside on one team at a time.

Yes! If you wish to change teams, simply navigate to the team you wish to join, and click JOIN THIS TEAM. After confirming the change, you’ll be redirected to your new team’s page. Please note that while you won’t lose the points you’ve accumulated thus far, the points you earned on your previous team will remain with that team. Any new points you earn will be added to your new team.

Yes. You can be a captain of multiple teams across the same organization, or across multiple organizations.

No. When you change teams, you’re automatically removed from the previous team.

If you are the only captain of a team, and there are other people on your team, you’ll need to promote a new captain before you are able to join a different team.

Yes! Current Team Captains can promote others via invitation. To do so, first click VIEW TEAMMATES on your team page, and then click INVITE AS CAPTAIN. There is a maximum of three Team Captains allowed per team.

In addition to earning points for daily and one-time actions, you can also boost your score by adding a profile picture, creating a team, inviting others, and through other event-related activities. For a detailed list of activities and point values, please consult the Points page in your Ecochallenge’s About pages.

A note about points: the Ecochallenge reward system is unique - regardless of which Ecochallenge you’re participating in, you’ll always earn points for checking in, even if it’s to indicate that you aren’t able to complete any actions. Changing behaviors can be difficult, and we believe that any and all participation is productive and deserving.

Ecochallenges provide many resources within the Challenge Categories and Actions to engage and motivate your community to create as much impact as possible. If you’re a Team Captain, take a moment to review our Team Captains Tips or participate in a Team Captain Webinar. If you’re spreading the word in your organization, be sure to make use of our free media kit that provides Social sharing tips, as well as downloadable graphics, posters, and other assets to bolster your efforts! These can all be found on the Resources page in your Ecochallenge’s About pages.

Simply put, as often as you can! Watching your impact add up each day, as well as sharing your experience with others on the social feed, can provide important inspiration if you start to lose steam.

All of our public Ecochallenges allow users to check in retroactively for a specified number of days. The length of the retroactive check-in window is set at the event level and may differ between other private Ecochallenges. For check-in questions related to your Ecochallenge, please contact your Ecochallenge administrator or Ecochallenge Support.

First, from your Dashboard, in the left-hand grey sidebar, click EDIT MY ACTIONS.

Next, click on SEE THESE ACTIONS across the categories available. Categories are color-coded and have designated category icons.

Finally, explore the actions available, and click the SELECT button for the actions you will commit to.

The maximum number of actions participants can select is set at the event level, and may vary between Ecochallenges. Contact your organization’s Ecochallenge administrator or Ecochallenge Support if you have questions about action limits for a specific Ecochallenge.

We recommend: 3-5 daily actions and 3-5 one-time actions for optimal chances for success. Choose the actions you can focus on and do well. If you have actions you already do, check off the "I already do this" and feel good about it! Just remember - be intentional about the actions you select and try not to spread yourself too thin.

You may add and edit actions as long as the Ecochallenge is open. However, keep in mind that adding a daily action with very little time left in the Ecochallenge may not have the same behavioral effect as adopting it early on.

Setting realistic goals (i.e. selecting a realistic number of actions), and sharing your experience with others through the social feed are two great ways to stay engaged and motivated. Also, be sure to check out the team and event-wide impact pages to see how your efforts are contributing to significant collective impact. Finally, it's okay if you do not meet your own expectations – there’s no such thing as a “perfect” score when taking on an Ecochallenge. Ecochallenges help you learn about and change behaviors you’re interested in – not to judge the quality of your efforts. Have fun!

Team captains can invite other Team Captains to participate in friendly team competitions. To do so, go to the Teams page from your Dashboard. There you’ll find a list of teams with a Challenge link in the right column. If you do not see the Challenge option, you may not be a captain of your team. Once you select 'Challenge', you’ll have the option to add a custom message to the email sent to the other team’s captains.

Teams always have the option to decline or cancel competitions as well – even after they’ve started. At the end of the Ecochallenge, the platform will send competition results to both teams.

Yes. The Ecochallenge Platform is open 24/7 throughout the Ecochallenge duration!

You won’t receive notification every time someone posts to the feed, but you’ll receive email notification when someone comments on your social feed posts.

Team and organizational reports are available in CSV format as an add-on for custom Ecochallenges, and to participating sponsors. For more information and pricing for custom Ecochallenges, please contact us.

Discussion Courses FAQs

FAQs for Discussion Courses

It all begins with course organizers and their desire to create a community of change. A course organizer is someone like you; anyone can organize a discussion course. We provide a wide range of support tools, including the course organizer’s guide, how-to videos, registration forms, and more. Course organizers choose a topic and invite others to join them to discover change, together. Our courses are designed to help break big issues into bite-sized pieces. And they help create a personal network of shared stories and support that makes it easy to take action. Learn more about organizing a course.

On college campuses, in businesses, within faith communities, in homes, and at neighborhood centers—people organize courses in many different settings, inviting people to discover change, together.

A key part of our work as an organization is staying up-to-speed on the ever-changing dialogue of sustainability. From TED Talks to blog posts to scholarly articles to worldwide news, something new comes out every day with the power to spark discussion and change. Our Curriculum Committee of volunteers and staff creates and revises course books on an ongoing basis. Let us know if there’s a topic you’d like to see covered in a future course.

Achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals will involve every level of community – that means you! Each discussion course book touches on a range of sustainable development values that inspire your choices where you live, work, share, and gather. Building community around these values empowers your group of individuals to impact the world. Explore how’s discussion courses align with the SDGs.

Absolutely. We are committed to providing course organizers with a wide range of support tools, including the course organizer’s guide, how-to videos, registration forms, and more. Learn more about organizing a course. We are available to provide support and guidance along the way, contact us by email at or at 503.227.2807.

Contact us at or give us a call at 503.227.2807.

Each course book includes tips and guidelines to help facilitators organize a discussion group – and we offer a variety of tools to help make it easy, from online scheduling to videos and mentoring by experienced organizers. Click here for our Course Organizer guide to get started today.

Our model of shared stories, shared learning, and shared action works best when participants complete the journey together, from beginning to end. Rather than connecting participants with courses, most of our work focuses on helping people build their own community of change by becoming a course organizer.

We occasionally organize online discussion courses that are open to anyone. You can stay tuned to all our offerings (including our online discussion courses) by subscribing to our blog or following us on Facebook.

To get started, contact us by email at or at 503.227.2807.

Discussion groups meet from one to seven times, depending on the discussion course and the desires of the group. Groups generally meet for an hour or hour and a half for each session. Sessions are designed to fit into a lunch break, though many groups choose to extend the sessions when time allows. processes orders twice a week. We use USPS priority mail for all our packages. Once shipped, it generally takes 3-5 business days for packages to arrive. Our e-books are available to download immediately after purchase.

To participate in a course, you will need to purchase a course book (ebook and/or print copy). Depending on the course, our discussion books range from $10-$28. Order your course book online. To place an order or request sample copies of any of our materials, contact us by email at or at 503.227.2807

The ideal discussion group size is 8-12 people when meeting in person. We recommend that at least 6 people participate but no more than 15, in order to keep the discussion both lively and manageable.

Online discussion courses allow for more participants because they leverage technology to ensure that everyone has a chance to participate (for example, we can use polling questions to gather input from a larger group of participants all at once.) We have successfully facilitated online discussion courses for groups of 25-200 people, and customize the course experience to the size of the group.

Yes. Course participants have readings and exercises to complete on their own before each week’s course, so each participant having a discussion course book (or ebook) is important.

Drop us a line at and we’ll help you connect with the many communities across the world that are using our programs to connect the dots between our values and our actions.

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