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  • inBloom App Helps Bands Stay Green and Save Money

    Mon, 17 Oct 2011 14:13:30

    inBloom App Helps Bands Stay Green and Save Money - It's available Oct. 22

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    inBloom is the location-based app that helps you "Buy What You Believe In." The app focuses on the sustainable food movement and includes listings for restaurants, grocery stores, farmers markets, Community-Supported Agriculture (CSAs) and Co-Ops, green hotels, thrift shops, green supply stores, and retail businesses powered by renewable energy. The app is designed for the diet and eco-conscious consumers who want specific information that can be hard to find.

    Andy Ross and Eytan Oren originally built inBloom to make it easy for musicians to find affordable and healthy food, green hotels, and biodiesel filling stations while on tour but quickly realized the app had a wider potential audience. "As a touring band," Oren explains, "you see those golden arches off the side of the highway and it's extremely convenient and cheap to buy food from companies you know exploit people, animals, and promote unsustainable farming monocultures. The question I started asking is 'how do you make it just as easy and affordable to find healthier alternatives?'"

    Andy and Eytan became friends at Columbia University as undergrads, and have both worked in the music and tech industries. Andy is the guitarist for OK Go as well as lead programmer for OpenCongress.org, a non-profit organization that builds free and open-source software for civic engagement. Eytan, a former Google employee and ad tech blogger, is the lead singer for Eytan & The Embassy, which starred in three spots for the 2010 MTV Movie Awards. He is also founder of Musician's Energy Conservation Alliance (MECA) which runs a variety of programs to help musicians save money while touring in an environmentally friendly way.

    Featured locations are meticulously researched and users can easily set up the inBloom app to display listings for issues most important to them. There are also a number of basic preset buttons including Vegetarian, Vegan, Organic, Locavore, Paleo Dieter, and more. Once a user inputs preferences, he can easily toggle back and forth between seeing "All Results" or his "Personal Settings" results. Results can also be filtered with categories like Farmers Markets, Restaurants, CSAs, Food Markets, and Coffee & Tea shops. A "Farmer Approved" designation indicates that a farm within a 150 mile radius confirmed that it supplied food to a particular location.

    Ross and Oren decided to launch two separate versions of the app - one for the general public and a second for MECA members which focuses on major cities, music venues, and highways typically traveled by bands. The MECA edition of the inBloom app will be released Oct. 22. The wide-release edition of inBloom, geared to non-musicians, will be available as a free iPhone app in the iTunes store on November 15th with the first iteration covering New York City, including over 500 listings in all five boroughs. The app will expand to include Austin, TX locations in December and will continue to add additional cities throughout 2012.

    In celebration of the launch of the inBloom MECA edition, MECA has partnered with artists Kevin Devine and An Horse to throw a launch party/show at New York City's Highline Ballroom on Oct. 22 during the CMJ Festival. MECA will also be hosting benefit concerts with the goal of subsidizing the additional expense required to power venues with renewable energy. Devine and An Horse began their official support of inBloom on October 6th when they kicked off their fall tour, culminating at the CMJ event on Oct. 22. This tour marks the first official MECA tour.

    With a digital MECA membership card (available within the inBloom MECA edition), MECA members will receive a 10% discount during CMJ at several New York eateries, including Urban Rustic (Williamsburg), Fresh Fanatic (Clinton Hill), Northern Spy Food Co. (Lower East Side), Bark (Park Slope and Brooklyn Bridge Park), Candle 79 (Upper East Side), Linger Lounge (Boerum Hill), Sun In Bloom (Park Slope), and a special promotion at V-Spot (across the street from Southpaw).

    MECA currently has nearly 1,000 musician members including OK Go, The Antlers, DeVotchKa, Kevin Devine, An Horse, Nicole Atkins, Free Energy, Murder by Death, and A Rocket to the Moon.

    To learn more about joining MECA, please visit www.JoinMECA.org.

    For more information on inBloom, please visit www.inBloomApp.com.

    Are you going to check out the inBloom app?

    —Amy Sciarretto

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    Tags: The Antlers, OK Go, Kevin Devine, An Horse, Nicole Atkins, Free Energy, Murder by Death, A Rocket to the Moon

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