I love Japan for its forward thinking, and this idea is a wonderful example of that. Tone Coca-Cola Bottling Company has partnered with Red Cross for a sweet and satisfying fundraiser. Until September 30, a hundred ‘Drink and Donate’ vending machines will be located in Chiba, Ibaraki, and Tochigi prefectures to raise money for the March 11 earthquake and tsunami relief fund.

Vending machines are a popular street accessory in Japan (which has the highest number of machines per capital in the world). Items like hot meal tickets, cigarettes, and drinks can be purchased using smart cards and cellphones. Now ‘Drink and Donate’ machines offer the added benefit of letting users contribute anywhere between 10 – 100 yen to Japan relief. Buyers can also donate change from their purchases to the fund. Once the transaction is complete, donors are sent on their way feeling internally refreshed, but not without receiving an automated “thank you” greeting from the machine.

All of the proceeds raised until September 30 will be benefit Japan relief efforts, but the machines will remain in place indefinitely to continue to raise money for Red Cross.