Make a difference: Your vote could mean one less moldy couch, courtesy of GOOD Magazine

What would make life better? A group that recycles those nasty beer-and-whatever-else-soaked couches from frat houses? A bike-rental service for the homeless? A smartphone app providing real-time updates of hiking trail conditions?

Those are three of more than thirty ideas submitted to GOOD Maker Boulder, all vying for a $1,500 prize offered by the environmentally and socially-conscious magazine. Voting opened yesterday; only the most popular gets rewarded.

"It's like Kickstarter but instead of you raising money, the money is already there," says GOOD marketing manager Brian Spina. "Eventually we'd really like Maker to be a home. If you have a good idea, it's a good way to raise money."

The Boulder fund is just the second city-specific prize, right after one in GOOD's hometown of Los Angeles. "Boulder is kind of the perfect place because there are a lot of social entrepreneurs and people with fresh ideas," Spina says. It also helped that there was a base of willing organizers in town.

GOOD also just launched a national GOOD Maker Challenge, asking folks to submit their best ideas for meet-ups -- in person or virtually, non-profit or for-profit...that's up to you. Folks might not want to pay for your staycation, but spa services for your grandma? People love that.

Two Denver-based ideas have already been submitted to the mix: a vegan supper club and a summit-slash-fashion show pushing "slow fashion," consciously and sustainably produced clothes. The winner of that competition wins $500. That's a lot of organic carrots.

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