When I was a kid I used to play basketball almost every evening in the city recreation center. We had a really resourceful head of the rec center named who always had creative low cost ideas to find things for kids to do. One of them was the "rotten sneaker contest" which has now gone international. He got 4 local shoe stores to donate a pair of shoes to the four worst pairs of shoes in the city. On a Saturday afternoon hundreds of kids showed up to be judged by the celebrity panel. It was great fun, we did it every year and for the price of 4 pair of shoes hundreds of kids had something to do on a Saturday.
My claim to fame is that I once came in second place with my Converse high tops, with my bright purple socks highlighting the holes in the canvas!
That great idea has now gone global and even has a corporate sponsor. It doesn't always take a lot of money to bring about good results.
I propose that the Mayor of Boston and the Mayor of New York challenge their citizens to a "recycle off". The citizens of the two cities can try and out do each other in how much they can recycle. The winning City gets to put a banner on the opposing teams ballfield for a Red Sox/Yankees game. Wouldn't it be great to see a big banner on Yankee Stadium: "The greenest and best fans in the USA-Red Sox Nation!" and the Mayor of the losing city has to dress up in a uniform of their opposition.
I know I would make an extra effort to see that banner hanging up at Yankee Stadium, or more importantly to make sure that the opposite banner never was raised at Fenway Park!
This is a low cost idea to create awareness, create publicity and motivate people to contribute to a solution. A win/win for everyone!