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Yokohama launches environmental online 'network'

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Yokohama Tire Corp. (YTC) has launched Eco Treadsetters (www.ecotreadsetters.com), an online environmental social network that offers daily green news and forums.

The site also features "how to" guides for protecting the planet, and exclusive interviews with musicians.

"This is a content-rich site that doubles as a 'MySpace-like' social network," says Fred Koplin, Yokohama's director of marketing. "We even sent a video crew to Bumbershoot, Seattle's Labor Day weekend music and arts festival, to talk to environmentally-conscious musicians. We've got some amazing footage.

"Our goal is to create an entertaining, newsy, socially relevant site. A perfect example is that we're going to be receiving regular online reports from four recent college grads making a 40,000-mile road trip from Southern California to the tip of South America, all created to promote green living and a sustainable lifestyle."

Yokohama Rubber Co., YTC's parent company, recently issued an environmental mandate, known as Grand Design 100, to coincide with the organization's 100th anniversary in 2017. The plan, available at ecotreadsetters.com, outlines how Yokohama will reduce the environmental impact made by every one of its products, including passenger, commercial and aircraft tires as well as adhesives, sealants and golf accessories.

For the initial eight weeks that the site is live, visitors who create a personal profile are eligible to win a weekly prize -- a gift certificate from Patagonia and iTunes. Members are also invited to submit videos, photos and written descriptions pertaining to eco-friendly projects they have initiated.

The grand prize winner, to be selected in late November, will receive an eco-trip for two to Costa Rica, including lodging at the Lapa Rios Rainforest Lodge and a VIP tour of the Corcovado National Park.

Eco Treadsetters is only one small piece of the environmental puzzle, according to Yokohama Rubber President Tadanobu Nagumo. "The key is ... if all of us work together globally, we can assure that the earth will forever remain the blue planet."

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