Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Recycle Your Holiday Waste

You now know to look for recycled paper and alternative fiber wrapping paper for the holidays, but it's easy to forget to make sure all that material gets recycled when you are done celebrating. This year, collect the paper, bows and boxes and keep them out of your garbage.

Between Thanksgiving and New Year's, the average American household increases its trash output by 25%, resulting in 5 million extra tons of garbage. But it doesn't have to be a total loss. Most paper can be readily recycled, either through curbside programs or local drop-off centers. The trick is to prepare by having a box or bag ready, so when everyone starts tearing through their presents under the tree in an ecstatic frenzy, you can easily divert the scraps into one convenient location.

Better than third-party recycling is to save wrapping paper, bows and boxes for reuse later. If you have room, you can use them for next year, or possibly even other holidays. Wrapping paper scraps make great packaging or craft material, and ribbons can be used as ties.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Green Christmas gift ideas for everyone on your list

The Daily Green's gift guide features the season's best sustainable and nontoxic gifts — safe toys, stylish gifts for the home, chic choices for fashionistas, gear for outdoors lovers...even treats for pets!

Whether you're the green guru of the house, or you're struggling to find a gift for one...whether you're a budget stocking stuffer or tying a big red bow around a car...you'll find selections that you can be proud to give. There are unique gifts you'll find only from independent artists and artisans, and items you can find in any shopping mall in America.

And, because The Daily Green believes citizens do a service by consuming less, we've highlighted ways to give without giving stuff at all — through volunteerism, charitable donations and more.

Special thanks to Olivia Zaleski for her hard work and research. Happy holidays to all!

* 20 Ways to Give Without Giving "Stuff"

Cick here at the Daily Green for the full article.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Can you chuck your yogurt carton into the recycling bin?

The Bite
It depends on your recycling program. Figuring out exactly what's recyclable can be harder than navigating the shoe section during clearance season, but our cheat-sheet makes at least one of these tasks a whole lot easier.

The Benefits

* Less confusion. Proper disposal ensures that your recyclables end up in the right place.
* Save energy. Recycling an aluminum can takes 96% less energy than creating a new one.
* Less landfill. According to the EPA, 75% of Americans' trash can be recycled, but only 25% actually is.
* Cleaner groundwater. Most landfill liners are just 1/10th of an inch thick, so toxins from garbage often leak into the groundwater.

Personally Speaking

Bozeman Biters are lamenting that the city just stopped recycling glass due to the expense of shipping it to a recycling facility. Need to kvetch or create an action plan to green up your town's recycling options? Join the discussion in today's blog.

Wanna Try?

* Earth911 - local listings of where you can recycle anything under the sun.
* You don't need to remove labels from cans and bottles, but you do need to remove plastic caps (and throw them away).
* Your recyclables don't need to be spotless - just not moldy or full of food. Save water - don't rinse 'til clean.


* Unbroken bottles are easier for workers to sort than broken ones.


* Most containers, such as tins and cans, and aluminum foil.


* Newspapers, magazines, photocopies, shoe boxes, envelopes (including ones with glassine windows).


* Plastics #1-#2 – recyclable in most areas. Usually found in 2-liter and detergent bottles, milk jugs and food containers.
* Plastics #3-#7 – more difficult to recycle, they are found in Styrofoam, pipes, shrink wrap, padded envelopes, trash liners and more. Check with your local facility to see if it recycles these plastics.
* Yogurt Cups - recyclable in most areas, especially the #2 plastic kind.
* Grocery Bags - reuse them first! You usually can't recycle them curbside, but some supermarkets have recycling bins in-store. Try to avoid them altogether by bringing your own Biter bag to the store.

Found on www.idealbite.com

Friday, December 5, 2008

How to Plan a Green Christmas

Americans create 25 million tons of waste every year in the winter holidays. Organizing a Green Christmas takes a little advance planning, but will be well worth the time and save you money too! You can start small and recycle things one at a time. It is a matter of changing your seasonal habits and doing things a little differently. Follow these ideas to go green this holiday season.

If you are using a real tree for Christmas, buy one that has a root ball for replanting. Contact the tree growers early in the season to ask them about trees with root balls.Ask them if you can return the tree to them after Christmas for replanting or replant the tree in your own backyard.
Buy organic trees only instead of chemically treated trees. Fill your dinner tables with natural items like fruit, nuts, pine cones, tree branches with leaves, acorns, or other natural items. Use plastic covered artwork, on cloth fabrics, for your placemats.
Cut back on giving out cards and gifts for a green Christmas. Start making homemade gifts from crafts or cooking some delicious foods in your kitchen. Decorate the Christmas tree with food, natural items, or homemade crafts.
When mailing out gifts to relatives and friends, send items like gift debit cards, new memberships cards; discount restaurant certificates, free merchandise offers, and plastic store gift certificates. Use the Internet to send electronic greeting cards instead of paper cards. If you do not buy greeting cards, or use recycled paper, you will save 380 gallons of oil and 17 trees by going green this Christmas.
Research how to create your own paper and make recycled paper from paper towels, napkins, gift wrappings, food and candy wrappers. Use alternative materials to wrap your Christmas gifts in such as grocery bags, newspapers, old shirts, plastics or other fabrics and cover them with colored pieces of ribbon. Start earlier in the year and create your own homemade gifts to give out the year for a green Christmas.
Buy energy efficient light bulbs and replace your old ones. Replace all Christmas lights with LEDs, which use 90% less energy that the regular Christmas lights. Purchase nicely decorated and scented soy candles and use them this holiday season to light up your home.
Think green this Christmas and recycle all your trash and other throwaway materials. In addition, after everyone has opened their presents, fold the gift-wrap up, ribbons and all, and store it away for next season.

Found here on e-how.com

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Making the move from print to digital

This was found on the RR Donnelley Weekly Collator.

Ever shopped in your birthday suit?

The Bite
We have, and so can you. This year, look for gifts online to save major retail store shopping-related energy (and major cash, thanks to our today-only exclusive online deals). Just keep a scarf handy in case it gets drafty.
The Benefits

* Au naturel energy savings. Despite their size, running an ecommerce warehouse takes 1/16th of the energy you'd need to operate a retail store. And even overnight air shipping uses 40% less fuel than the average car trip to shop.
* Buck naked discounts. For our third annual Green Tuesday, we got some of our favorite online merchants to offer Biter-exclusive discounts (today only) as a green alternative to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
* Clothes-less convenience. Online, there's no waiting in line, and you can shop 24 hours a day. Plus you can send gifts straight to the giftee, bypassing double shipping.
* Raw variety. You'll find everything from clothing-optional vacation packages to paraben-free sunblock on the Internet.

Personally Speaking
Toshio spent hours online searching for a UPS uniform to wear to a costume party, only to discover that you can't buy them for security reasons. Guess we'll just have to admire the one on our favorite delivery guy...
Wanna Try?

* Big Dipper Wax Works - beeswax candles. Get 20% off, plus free shipping with orders over $125 when you enter the code GREENTUESDAY during checkout.
* Blooming Lotus - personal care products. Get 20% off, plus a free gift with orders over $50 when you enter the code SeasonsGreenings during checkout.
* Brilliant Earth - jewelry. Get 20% off its fair-trade gold Choco pendant when you enter the code IDEALBITE in the reference code field during checkout.
* BTC Elements - apparel, jewelry, and gifts. Get 20% off when you enter the code bite during checkout.
* Greenloop - fashion. Get 25% off when you enter the code IB25 during checkout.
* HER Design - handbags, laptop covers, and messenger bags. Get 25% off when you enter the code GREEN2SDAY08 during checkout.
* Nau - activewear and outdoor clothing. Get 20% off, plus free shipping with orders over $150 when you enter the code IBUTW during checkout.
* Organic Wine Company - vino. Get 20% off its general catalog of wines when you use this link.
* Pangea Organics - personal care products. Get a 50%-off order form when you send an email to holiday@pangeaorganics.com with "Ideal Bite" in the subject line.
* Saffron Rouge - cosmetics. Get 20% off when you enter the code Bite into 20 during checkout.
* Smart Glass - recycled glass jewelry. Get 20% off when you enter the code IDEALBITE during checkout.
* VivaTerra - style for your home. Get $20 off a purchase of $100 or more when you enter the code ID08 during checkout.
* West Paw Design - gifts for your pet. Get 20% off when you enter the code ideal20offgreen during checkout.
* Ideal Bite Biter Gear - Biter merch. Get 20% off anything in our Biter Gear store (except for our Biter for Life Kit) - discount applies automatically.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Wanna study up on how to stop getting phonebooks?

The Bite

Don't cheat yourself or the forest. Sign up and you'll never receive another paper phonebook. Taking notes?

The Benefits

  • More paper for textbooks. About 540 million unsolicited phonebooks arrive at American doors annually - takes a lotta trees to make those.
  • Majoring in waste reduction. Phonebooks make for about 660,000 tons of trash every year.
  • Extra credit: less annoyance. Just lugging phonebooks into the house when you know you'll never use them is a pain.

Personally Speaking

None of us have used a paper phonebook since the advent of Google SMS (send a text message to 466453 with business name and zip code, and you'll get the number and address sent to you).

Wanna Try?

  • YellowPagesGoesGreen - enter your info here to get your name off the mailing list.
  • Earth 911 - recycle your old phonebooks (if you have curbside recycling, just toss them in there).
Found on www.idealbite.com

Friday, November 28, 2008

Online Green Education Available for Design Professionals

John Wiley & Sons, the leader in architecture/engineering/construction publishing, is now offering WileyCPE (www.wileyCPE.com), an online continuing education system created specifically for A/E/C professionals. WileyCPE.com courses are approved by the American Institute of Architects and enable design professionals to earn the credits they need to satisfy membership and state licensing board requirements. The online courses are developed and delivered by Wiley’s expert editorial and author teams, and focus on sustainability or health, safety, and welfare (HSW) topics.

Current topics dealing with green design and construction include:

  • “Green Building Assessment”
  • “Life Cycle Assessment for Green Buildings”
  • “Site Analysis for Sustainability”
  • “Resource Efficiency for Sustainable Sites”

Other courses are offered on project management, integrated design, and other basics of good building design. The courses are self-paced, available 24/7, and include audio files, interactive self-learning, and bonus materials. The cost of the courses ranges from $50-100, and all offer immediate certificates showing completion of CEU credits, as well as management of credits achieved through the system.

The site is user-friendly and, as more courses are offered, will become a valuable tool for any design or construction professional looking to expand their knowledge and keep up with current trends in the industry.

For a full list of courses and pricing, see the WileyCPE site.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Web Site Offers Green Home Resources

Help Making Eco-Friendly and Health Choices for Home and Office

Buzz up!


EcoHomeResource.com is a new website that is dedicated to helping people create and maintain a healthy home and work environment. The site features a large database full of eco-friendly products and services, inspiring articles written by a variety of experts on sustainable and healthy living, as well as product comparisons that allow you to quickly and easily see some of your product options. The companies in the database also indicate whether a product or service has earned the approval from one or more of the following third-party organizations; GreenGuard, Energy Star, Green Seal, US Green Building Council, Co-Op America, and the Forest Stewardship Council. We also have a secure eco-store right on the site!

Relevant information can easily be found on the site through navigating to each room (e.g. Kitchen, Nursery, Laundry Room, Office, etc.). For example, in the laundry room you will find product comparisons on different vacuums, energy saving washers, and the benefits of using natural laundry detergent.

Due to the fact that Eco Home Resource is specifically focused on the home and work environments, you can easily find information that will cut down on some of the confusion of the overwhelming choices and options in the marketplace. Knowing that life is hectic, we aim to be your one-stop resource for creating a supportive and sustainable living environment for you and your family. We are here to be of service to you, so we are always open to story ideas or questions you would like to have answered on the site.

The site covers topics from how to green your baby's nursery to the most energy-efficient appliances and great ways to conserve water. The site also covers topics that are "beyond green," what we call Transformational Design, and explores subjects such as Color Theory, Feng Shui and Aromatherapy. It is the goal that the site will inspire conscious, healthy choices that will benefit people and the planet in which we live. Thank you for visiting EcoHomeResource.com, we look forward to hearing from you!


Article found on www.thedailygreen.com

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Living Walls on San Francisco's Embarcadero

by Eliza Barclay, Nomad on 11.23.08
Credit: Pelli Clarke Pelli
In a blog post on design applications of water resource management, New York Times design blogger Allison Arrieff included a photograph of a glass office building currently under construction in San Francisco with veritable living walls. Intrigued, we decided to research the project at 110 Embarcadero, and learned it belongs to the design firm Pelli Clarke Pelli and is one of the most creative green buildings in the world in development right now.

We are especially excited about the building's use of walls alive with creeping, curling vines. As Arrieff points out, living walls are not only beautiful and seasonal, but they also absorb and filter storm water, digest nasty particulates, improve outdoor and air quality, and regulate the building's temperature to lower heating and cooling bills.

For the 110 Embarcadero building, planters housed in a trellis-like mesh will be attached between each floor. Each planter will have a variety of vine species to ensure that something will be in bloom all year long. The building aspires to receive a LEED Platinum rating, an award that has never been given to an office building. According to an article earlier this year in the San Francisco Chronicle, the building will open in 2009, and we can't wait.

More on Living Walls:

Guide to Planting Green Roofs and Living Walls
All in all it’s Just Another Plant in the Wall
Living, Green Wall Fends Off Encroaching Desert

Green Walls Growing Everywhere
article found on www.treehugger.com

Thursday, November 20, 2008

World Carbon Emissions Continue to Increase

Obama Won't Visit U.N. Climate Conference Before Taking Office

Carbon emissions from industrialized nations rose through the first six years of the 21st century, reversing a slackening in the 1990s caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union, according to new figures from the United Nations. There was a slight plateau in 2006 that experts cautioned is unlikely to continue as a trend.

As of 2006, emissions from the industrialized nations stood 5% below the 1990 level, but emissions had increased 2.3% since 2000. Emissions in 2007 and 2008 aren't reflected in the totals, and neither are emissions from developing nations like China and India, which have risen quickly and now stand among the world's top sources of pollution.

Meanwhile, President-elect Barack Obama is not expected to attend the next U.N. meeting on global warming, in Poland, because President Bush will still be in office. The U.N. is working toward a new agreement, to be ratified in 2009, that would act as a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which was supposed to rein in carbon emissions from industrialized nations. The United States is the only major industrialized polluter not to have joined in the pact.

Obama did, however, meet with his former rival Republican Sen. John McCain, and climate change was reportedly one of the topics on which they discussed collaborating.

Article and photo found on www.thedailygreen.com

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Green Piece

Monday, November 17, 2008

Green Piece

According to a recent Yahoo! Green study, 77% of consumers describe themselves as "Green," actively living their lives conscious of their health and environment, and 57% have made a Green purchase in the past 6 months.

But, concludes the study, the fact that not all green consumers are the same creates a great opportunity for advertisers to better understand the purchasing motivations of mainstream green consumers, one of the largest and fastest growing markets nationwide. The study segments green consumers into four main groups:

Deeply Committed:

  • 23% of market... early-adopters of green who are looking to make a long-term impact
  • Mostly adults (35+)
  • Skew female
  • More educated
  • Higher percent live in metropolitan areas
  • Respond most to the "positively impact the environment" message


  • 24% of market... trend-setters who are motivated to be green to look cool
  • Younger (18-34)
  • More ethnically diverse
  • Respond to messages about "everybody else is doing it," newest technology, cool/hip.


  • 13% of market... motivated to be green by immediate benefits such as saving money or improving health
  • Skew a bit older (45+)
  • More with children
  • Over-index in rural areas


  • 17% of market, recognize green as important but place the responsibility more on others than themselves
  • Younger adults (25-34)
  • More women with kids
  • Respond to messages about providing a better life for their family


  • The other 23% of the market says they don't care about the environment, or they say they care, but they don't take any action.

Two of the segments present the biggest opportunity for advertisers, says the report... the "trendy" consumers who go green to be cool, and the "deeply committed". These segments buy more green products, discuss green issues often, and convince others to make the same green purchases.

  • 80% of the "deeply committed" and 69% of the "trendy" consumers have made a green purchase in the past 6 months
  • 79% of "deeply committed" and "trendy" consumers say that if they like a product they will always tell their friends
  • 70% of the "trendy" and 66% of "deeply committed" consumers who have recently purchased a green alternative product have convinced a family/friend to buy the same product

The study reports that Online is an important source for green information:

  • More than two-thirds (68%) of survey respondents cite online as a source of green information, on par with traditional media (72%)
  • In the online space, people look most to portal websites (Yahoo!, MSN, etc.) for more information on green products (51%), likely due to the richness of content offered by such sites.
  • Second is online search (44%)
  • Reading online reviews by users also high (40%). People look to user reviews more than professional reviews (24%)
  • Lowest is a company website (20%) and blogs (21%)
  • A large percent of people still look to TV ads for more info on green products (47%), especially in the household cleaning product category (37%)

This study included 1,500 internet respondents between the ages of 18-54 from a diverse cross-section of the population from around the country, as well as in-person interviews with people who live in Los Angeles, Chicago and Portland. 8% of people were screened out of this survey because they stated that they were "not at all conscious with regard to their health and the environment". Therefore, survey respondents include an Internet representative sample of 92% of consumers.

article found on www.mediapost.com

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Times Square Begins Building Green Billboard

By: NY1 News

Click HERE to view the video of the billboard.

The lights in Manhattan's Times Square are starting to go green.

Construction begins this month on a 35,000 lbs., environmentally-friendly electronic billboard which will carry advertising for the office equipment company Ricoh.

The billboard will be powered by 16 wind turbines and 64 solar panels, enough to light six homes.

The sign will not be as bright as the other billboards and it does not have a generator, which means it could go dark after long periods without wind or sunshine.

Monday, November 17, 2008

California Air Pollution Kills More People Than Car Crashes, Study Shows

FRESNO, Calif. — Lowering air pollution in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley would save more lives annually than ending all motor vehicle fatalities in the two regions, according to a new study.

This Tuesday, July 15, 2003 file photo shows the Los Angeles skyline being obscured by a heavy layer of smog and fog . Decreasing air pollution in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley would save more lives annually than ending all motor vehicle fatalities in the two regions, according to a study. (AP Photo/Jerome T. Nakagawa, file)

The study, which examined the costs of air pollution in two areas with the worst levels in the country, also said meeting federal ozone and fine particulate standards could save $28 billion annually in health care costs, school absences, missed work and lost income potential from premature deaths.

The price tag amounts to $1,600 annually per person in the San Joaquin Valley and $1,250 in the South Coast Air Basin.

Researchers at California State University-Fullerton sought to assess the potential economic benefits that could be achieved by reducing air pollution to levels within federal standards.

"For decades there has been a tug of war over what to do about air pollution," said Jane Hall, lead author of the study at Cal State Fullerton. "We are paying now for not having done enough."

To illustrate its point, the study noted that the California Highway Patrol recorded 2,521 vehicular deaths in the San Joaquin Valley and South Coast Air Basin in 2006, compared to 3,812 deaths attributed to respiratory illness caused by particulate pollution.

Studies have indicated a relationship between ozone and particulate pollution and asthma and other respiratory problems, including chronic bronchitis. They also have connected particulate pollution with an increase in cardiovascular problems.

Hall and colleague Victor Brajer analyzed ozone and fine particulate concentrations across the two basins in 5-by-5 kilometer grids from 2005 through 2007. The researchers applied those numbers to the health affects they are known to cause, then assigned peer-reviewed economic values to each illness or death that could result.

"It may be tempting to think California can't afford to clean up, but in fact dirty air is like a $28 billion lead balloon on our economy," Hall said.

The findings were released Wednesday as the California Air Resources Board considers controversial new regulations to reduce diesel truck emissions, a move that could cost 170,000 business owners $5.5 billion. According to a board staff report, the savings in health care costs would be $68 billion by 2020 if the regulations were adopted next month.

The Cal State Fullerton study says that particulate pollution levels must fall by 50 percent in both regions for health and economic benefits to occur, something they acknowledged would be "very difficult to achieve."

If pollution levels were to improve to federal standards, the study says residents of the two air basins would suffer 3,860 fewer premature deaths, 3,780 fewer nonfatal heart attacks and would miss 470,000 fewer days of work annually. School children would miss more than 1.2 million fewer days of school, a savings of $112 million in caregiver costs. There also would be more than 2 million fewer cases of upper respiratory problems.

"As a society we make decisions to spend money on things such as railroad crossings or air traffic control _ things that improve safety," Brajer said. "There are a lot of ways society spends money to make things safer, and that's what we're trying to get at."

Article found at The Huffington Post

by TRACIE CONE | November 13, 2008 06:02 AM EST

Thursday, November 13, 2008

UPS Going Labeless with Super Cool Paper-Free Printer

by Jaymi Heimbuch, Central Coast, California on 11.13.08 Science & Technology (electronics)
Photo via HP

UPS has long been interested in improving efficiency. For a year and a half, HP and UPS have been working together to develop a scanner/printer that prints sorting labels directly on packages. The time and effort looks to be worth it because this awesome little device means huge paper, money and time savings.

The device underscores that it pays to be green – according to UPS's estimates, it will save about 92,456 hours year through increased productivity, save about 1,338 tons of paper, and reduce carbon emissions by 3,807 tons each year.

Read on for details of how it works, plus a video.

The HP Handheld sp400 All-in-One was tested in Orlando Florida, where it was used on 40,000 packages per day with zero errors. The device scans the label, and prints sorting information directly on the package with fast-drying ink designed by HP. It replaces the previous system that included a large thermal printer, PC, monitor and scanner, which hopefully means a lot less electricity and e-waste in addition to all the other savings.

The device should last quite awhile, as it was made to resist multiple 6-foot drops, and uses a lithium-ion battery. However, the website only states “multiple hours” of printing and scanning per charge. So exactly how long a charge lasts, we aren't yet quite sure. Though, with the ability to do over 1,250 prints per hour, that seems reasonable for today’s Li-Ion battery capabilities. Perhaps future upgrades will include environmentally friendly inks and better battery power.

Check out a video co-produced by HP and UPS that demonstrates the use and innovation behind this cool new device.

More on HP:
HP's Pavilion Has Gone Green - Or Has It?
HP Bags Wal-Mart's Reduced Packaging Award With Laptop In A Bag

More on UPS:
UPS Delivering Small Packages With Small Vehicles
UPS Deploys 167 Compressed Natural Gas Trucks

Sunday, November 9, 2008

flip & tumble- reusable bags

We surveyed shoppers. Almost everyone has reusable bags, so why aren�t they getting used? Too difficult to remember. Too many unplanned shopping trips. Just too hard.

You�ve been there, done that. You know the moment you get to the checkout line, you remember the bags are at home by the front door, or maybe they are just in the trunk of your car. In any case, they are not there when you need them.

We saw a a big problem. After all, reusable bags are really only useful if they actually get reused. We figured if we could make the bags small enough to simply be kept with you all the time, there would be no more forgetting. We designed our bags to be small enough to stash in a messenger bag, purse, or pocket, so they are simply there when you needed them We had them tested by friends, family, and just about anyone who was willing to give them a try, and they worked! We knew we had something we wanted to share when even our most forgetful friends were reusing their bags.

The average person in the US goes through 332 bags a year. Often we use these bags for what amounts to just minutes or hours, but plastic bags stick around for 500+ years.

While biodegradable bags and paper bags are a bit better in terms of decomposing, the real problem is that there is a lot of wasted energy making single-use bags. It takes a commitment to change, but once you get the hang of carrying reusable bags all the time, you�ll find that they�re good for all sorts of things: carrying those extras to work, toting gear to the beach or to the soccer field, having an extra travel bag, or maybe just as a hackeysack for kicking back with some friends.

At heart we are designers. We like taking those pesky, annoying problems and finding clever, simple, joyful solutions. We, Hetal Jariwala and Eva Bauer, met while attending Stanford Universitys Product Design graduate program where worked on everything from redesigning the public transportation experience to making kites that flew in the clear blue sky. After graduating we quickly figured out that the standard 9-5 hohum wasn't working for us so we took the leap and started flip & tumble.

Information found on flip & tumble website.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Eric Hudson’s dentist always told him he needed to hold his toothbrush at a 45-degree angle when cleaning his teeth, but Hudson hadn’t found a brush shaped to encourage that positioning. By using boiling water to soften conventional toothbrushes, he was able to bend them into a shape he found more comfortable—and that dental professionals praised. In 1996, Hudson combined his dental-hygiene interest with his environmental dedication and business expertise when he founded Recycline, which manufactures toothbrushes made from recycled plastic.

“I saw that around 45 percent of the population was interested in recycling, but there wasn’t a lot of action turning recycled materials into new products,” Hudson explains. “I wanted to show that you can make high-quality products from recycled materials.” And he wanted to ensure that the products he made were, in turn, recyclable.

His interest in brushing technique wasn’t the only thing that made toothbrushes a good choice for his company’s first product, either; toothbrushes are something that people need to keep buying and discarding (the American Dental Association recommends replacing them every three months).

In collaboration with his industrial-designer father and a panel of dentists, Hudson designed the Preserve® toothbrush, with nylon bristles and a 100-percent- recycled plastic handle.

“The Preserve® curve of the handle helps you brush at the 45-degree angle most comfortably throughout your mouth,” Hudson explains of its patented design. The brushes come with (or you can request) postage-paid mailers, and the company recycles returned toothbrushes into plastic lumber for park benches and other outdoor furniture.

Over the past decade, Recycline has launched a partnership with Stonyfield Farms, whose yogurt containers are recycled into plastics for Recycline products—a line that has grown to include a razor, tongue cleaner, children’s toothbrush, and, most recently, plates and cutlery. These products are all made of 100-percent recycled plastic, and everything except the toothbrushes can go directly into #5 recycling bins (though Hudson prefers that razor users simply replace their blades). Recycline also introduced a toothbrush subscription program, in which subscribers receive new toothbrushes in the mail four times a year and send their old ones to be recycled once again.

—Liz Borkowski

Story found on Coopamerica.org

Monday, October 27, 2008

Greening School Fundraisers

If your school or community group needs to raise some cash, think about selling eco-friendly goods from the greenest businesses.
For several years, the Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, MD, had held an annual fundraiser selling Sally Foster gift wrap to raise money for the sixth-grade field trip. But the gift wrap chosen for the sale contained no recycled content and couldn’t itself be recycled, which concerned a group of green-minded students so much, they called a boycott.

“This particular group of friends called themselves ‘the Treehuggers,’” says Miriam Glaser, who teaches sixth grade science at the school. “I got wind of the boycott, so I met with them, and we started working together as an official school group on green issues.”

As a result of the boycott, the PTO saw a significant reduction in the amount of money they earned, and it didn’t take them long to agree to meet the Treehuggers to discuss sustainable fundraiser alternatives.

Though it was too late to stop the Sally Foster sale, the Treehuggers decided to conduct a sale of their own, to raise money for compost bins and recycled paper for the school. Glaser helped them find Greenraising.com, an eco-friendly fundraising company.

“I was very excited about how much we raised,” says Glaser. “We were all happy with the variety of green products, and the kids felt good that they’d made a difference.”

Are you a parent or grandparent who is tired of seeing your child sell unsustainable products to raise money for her or his school? Does your house of worship or nonprofit run fundraiser programs through businesses whose products could be cleaner and greener? Read on for a variety of responsible alternatives to conventional fundraisers.

Started by a group of eco-minded parents, Greenraising.com exists to help schools and other nonprofits raise money from sales of useful green products. Many items come from members of Co-op America’s Green Business Network™, including: EcoBags reusable bags; Laptop Lunches reusable lunchboxes; Fair Trade Zhena’s Gypsy Tea, Ithaca Fine Chocolates, and Peace Coffee; and Earth Friendly Products cleaning supplies.

Greenraising.com offers three different fundraising options: 1) Your group can hold an ongoing Web sale, where supporters use your specially designated code on the Greenraising.com online retail store. 2) You can hold a two- or three- week “Web site drive” and earn higher profit margins than with an ongoing sale. 3) You can run an in-person (recycled paper) Greenraising catalog drive.

Fair Trade Chocolate, Coffee
As many US students are learning, the coffee and cocoa industries have been tied to worker exploitation and environmental degradation. Now, schools and other nonprofits can raise money and support cocoa and coffee farmers through a Divine Chocolate or Grounds for Change fundraiser.

Farmers in the Fair Trade system work cooperatively and earn a living wage that allows them to improve their lives, communities, and local environment.

Divine sells Fair Trade Certified™ chocolate from Ghana. Schools and other organizations can buy 1.5-oz. dark, milk, and crispy rice Divine Chocolate bars at wholesale prices, then resell them at retail and keep the profits.

Through Grounds for Change, your group can hand-sell 12-oz. bags of organic, shade-grown, Fair Trade coffee, using the company’s order forms and information cards, or you can purchase it in bulk at a discount and resell it, pocketing a percentage of the profits.

Both companies will also provide materials to help you educate buyers about Fair Trade.

Fair Trade Gourmet Food
A catalog of gourmet treats can be a popular fundraiser, too—especially around the holidays. Equal Exchange’s program helps your group raise money by selling Fair Trade chocolate, coffee, tea, and cocoa, as well as certified-organic, US-grown cranberries, almonds, and pecans.

Equal Exchange will send order forms and recycled paper catalogs displaying its organic, Fair Trade, premium-quality products. Once your organization has completed its sales, you order the products at a discount and pocket the profits.

By request, Equal Exchange will provide recycled paper posters and flyers to advertise your sale and the benefits of Fair Trade. It also offers a Fair Trade curriculum for grades 4–9, as well as an incentive program where students earn green prizes for achieving certain sales quotas.

Fair Trade Crafts
If you like import stores like Pier One and World Market, you’ll love the Fair Trade craft items from A Better Footprint (formerly Worldgoods) and Global Goods Partners, which include recycled cotton handbags from India; glass pendants from Ecuador; soccer balls from Pakistan; and more.

Schools and community groups have four options for holding fundraisers through A Better Footprint: 1) The company will give you a special Web link to its online store, so you earn profits when supporters shop. 2) You can order a box of products on consignment and sell them at an event. Once the sale is over, you simply send back any unsold items with payment. 3) You can hold a catalog sale. 4) If you’re with a school in Wisconsin or Illinois, A Better Footprint can come to your school to sell products at an event.

A Global Goods fundraiser is held entirely online. The company gives your school or nonprofit a special code for supporters to use when shopping from its online store, and you’ll earn a percentage of the profits from those sales. For schools, it will also provide posters and other promotional materials.

Energy-Saving Products
It’s been hard to miss the fact that fuel costs are skyrocketing, and electricity costs are sure to follow. So selling energy-saving products from E3Living.com might turn out to be the best fundraiser your organization has ever held.

This Web-based company sells a variety of green items, including compact fluorescent light bulbs, energy-saving “SmartStrip” power strips, and LED holiday lights, as well as other household products like water-saving devices.

Organizations sell products through their own special URL on E3 Living’s fundraising site, ECOmmitted.com, earning a portion of the profits, plus an additional two percent of your total annual sales at the end of the calendar year.

Reduce E-waste for Cash
Your group can provide a valuable recycling service for your community while earning needed cash with Project KOPEG’s e-waste recycling fundraiser. Your group collects unwanted cell phones and chargers, ink cartridges, MP3 players, digital cameras, and PDAs to send to the company for cash. As long as you’ve collected at least 30 cell phones, or 30 ink cartridges and 15 cell phones, Project KOPEG will pay all shipping costs. Prices vary according to items—you’ll earn at least $0.95 per pound of e-waste.

RecyclePlace.com offers a similar fundraising program for groups that collect cell phones or ink cartridges for recycling.

Neither company ships used electronics to overseas facilities, ensuring that everything is refurbished or recycled responsibly.

Books for Sale
Better World Books (BWB) helps high school and college students raise money through book drives to benefit their school and literacy programs around the world.

Students collect used books, including old textbooks, from their community. They ship the books to BWB at no cost to them, and then BWB resells the books online, donating or recycling those that can’t be sold. The school gets a percentage of the profits and designates one of four literacy programs to receive an additional portion: Books for Africa, Room to Read, WorldFund, or the National Center for Family Literacy.

BWB also offers a similar program to help libraries raise money in exchange for book discards.

Two other organizations provide green-themed books at a discount to schools and nonprofits, which can resell them at retail to raise money: Contact Kids Think Big to get its brightly illustrated children’s book, Think Green!, which is about simple ways kids and adults can help green our world. And Laura Bruzas, editor of Healthy Dining Chicago offers a useful 32-page booklet called “50 Simple Ways to Eat Well for Less,” on greening your food choices while saving money, no matter where you live.

Artistic Accessories and Decor
If you’re looking for a quirky and fun fundraiser, look no further than TheJuicyPearGiftShop.com. This Web store offers a wide variety of unique items, from bags made from old fire hoses, to jewelry fashioned from antique typewriter keys, to belts made from recycled rubber and bottle caps.

Schools and groups can sell Juicy Pear items through recycled paper or electronic catalogs. The company ships items directly to buyers.

Artistic Accessories and Decor
There’s no two ways about it—students need school supplies. Launch an ongoing fundraiser through MyEarth360.com, and your organization can sell school supplies and other necessities that are good for people and the planet.

MyEarth360 sells a range of green products on its Web store, from lunchboxes made from recycled drink containers to Fair Trade backpacks to pencils made from wood scraps. In addition, the store offers household items like water purifiers, compostable zip-lock bags, and more.

MyEarth360 assigns your school or organization a unique code for supporters to use when they shop the site, earmarking a percentage of the profits for your group. Four times a year, the retailer will increase that profit margin for a specific amount of time, giving even more to your group.

Artistic Accessories and Decor
Paper products tend to be a popular fundraiser. Now, through Twisted Limb Paperworks, you can ensure that the stationery, bookmarks, and scrapbooking papers your organization sells are made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled content. The paper is all handmade at Twisted Limb’s Bloomington, IN, facilities and is often embedded with flowers and seeds.

You may choose to sell the papers first and then place an order, or purchase products to resell.

Recycled Greeting Cards
If your group likes the idea of selling greeting cards, consider offering the beautiful cards from Arbutus Images, made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper and printed with soy inks.

Arbutus will provide order forms and samples to your group’s fundraiser. You sell each box of eight cards for $15 and keep $5.

For every box of Arbutus cards your organization sells, the company will donate ten cents to Trees for the Future’s Tree Pals program, which covers the cost of planting one tree for a school in a developing country. Schools can also sell Arbutus cards to fund participation in Tree Pals Sponsorship program, planting a forest for a partner school in a developing country.

Reusable Shopping Bags
Reusable shopping bags are increasing in popularity, so why not sell them and make some much-needed cash?

Greenbenefits.net is an online company that offers a different themed fundraising program for schools each year. This year’s theme is “reducing plastic,” so the company is providing reusable nylon bags for schools to sell for cash. The bags are sweatshop-free and can be compacted to fit in a pocket or purse. Green Benefits will provide your school with a special URL or even design a Web site for you to sell the bags online.

Ecobags.com offers several types of reusable shopping bags through its fundraising program, from organic cotton string bags to whisper-thin cotton produce bags. Your group purchases the bags in bundles of ten at wholesale prices (minimum $125 initial purchase) to resell.

AAh Haa! sells its recycled-canvas and recycled-PET reusable tote bags at wholesale prices to schools for resale. You can add a logo for a fee.

And Weaddup.com offers organic cotton totes—and T-shirts—with environmental messages on them. You sell the items via catalog, and the company pays for shipping at least 50 items, giving your group a percentage of the profits.

A Final Word
Next time your school or organization suggests selling toxin-laden cleaners or conventional candy that may be tied to worker exploitation, feel free to hand out copies of this article and lobby for sustainable alternatives. With a green fundraiser, you can help spread the word about high-quality green products and support the green economy, while raising money for schools or causes that are close to your heart.

—Tracy Fernandez Rysavy

Article found here

Friday, October 24, 2008

Save $4,000 Next Year (And Every Year)

A 12-Step Plan to Save Money By Going Green

October 23, 2008 at 9:22AM by Diane MacEachern

You can save almost $4,000 every year if you live a greener life.

Here's how:

  1. Take lunch to work and stop tossing disposable takeout waste
    Annual cost savings: $1,560

  2. Sell your gas-guzzler and invest in a fuel-efficient model
    Annual cost savings: $884

  3. Drive smart to improve fuel economy
    Annual cost savings: $600

  4. Buy a reusable water bottle and stop buying bottled water
    Annual cost savings: $500

  5. Make your own non-toxic cleaners
    Annual cost savings: $300

  6. Skip one driving trip each week
    Annual cost savings: $225

  7. Install window and door weather stripping
    Annual cost savings: $129

  8. Get a programmable thermostat and use it to regulate heating and cooling
    Annual cost savings: $150

  9. Buy a smart power strip and really turn off energy-sucking electronics
    Annual cost savings: $94

  10. Install low-flow shower heads, and water-saving toilets and faucets
    Annual cost savings: $72

  11. Replace an old washing machine with an EnergyStar model
    Annual cost savings: $50 (plus 7,000 gallons of water)

  12. Swap out old bulbs for compact fluorescents
    Annual cost savings: $5-10 (per bulb)

    Total cost savings: $3,690 per year

PLUS: Swap, Trade Using Freecycle.org, EBay, Craig’s List to save more $$$$$.

For years, naysayers have claimed that "being eco is too expensive." Not any more.

Want more ideas on how to shift spending to live greener and save money? Check out the One in a Million budget sheet.

Article found on www.thedailygreen.com

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What's in It for Me?

[Editor's note: In this exclusive excerpt from Joel Makower's new book, "Strategies for the Green Economy," he describes how to tap into the prevailing mentalities of most shoppers in order to make green products appealing. Previous excerpts can be found here and here.]

Ted Levitt, the Harvard marketing professor whose name is often preceded by the word guru, famously said: "People don't want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarterinch hole." Levitt's point is that people usually buy things because they have needs or desires that demand solutions or fulfillment. Rocky Mountain Institute cofounder Amory Lovins, one of the pioneers and innovators in energy efficiency and conservation, expressed the same sentiment: "People don't want heating fuel or coolant; people want cold beer and hot showers." That is, their interest is less in products than in the benefits those products provide.

When it comes to the environment, hardly anyone shops with a mind-set to "save the planet," despite what many marketing professionals seem to think. They want what everyone in developed economies want: comfort, security, reliability, aesthetics, affordability, status, and pleasure.

And yet, so many green-minded companies end up selling "quarter-inch drills." They'll explain:

  • Why the world needs their drill ("The polar bears are dying!" "We're running out of resources!")
  • The benefits of their drill ("Uses less energy and emits fewer toxic emissions." "Recyclable, so it won't end up in landfills.")
  • The drill's technical makeup ("Made of 100 percent plant- and mineral-based ingredients." "Uses 20 percent less energy than the competitor.")
  • What the drill doesn't contain ("No petroleum-based products or artificial dyes or preservatives.")
  • How it's better than competitors' drills ("The highest percentage of recycled material on the market." "Available wherever you buy organic foods.")
  • The benefits to the planet if everyone bought their drill instead of the competitors' ("We'd reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of taking 135,000 cars off the road." "We would save 11 million gallons of water, 23,000 acres of trees, and enough energy to power Toledo for a month.")

But little or nothing about the quarter-inch hole-about how this product will get the job done, whether the "job" is cleaning my house, transporting me from hither to yon, satisfying my hunger, or making me feel attractive and cool.

Much of environmental strategy and marketing seems disconnected from most people's lives. Indeed, research shows that many shoppers view the environmental movement as traditional, dated, and somewhat out of touch with current society.

This is ironic perhaps. Many environmentalists I know believe that they have a better understanding of the state of the world than do other people. And they might. But that's of little consequence. The millions of "Security Moms" and "NASCAR Dads" who haven't yet tuned into how climate change and fisheries loss might mess with their kids' future aren't about to be beaten into submission by the latest technical arguments or evidence. They're not about to make purchase decisions based on a maybe-someday rationale for stemming environmental problems. They want to know: What's in it for me, today?

So, big news: Most consumers may be shallow, misinformed, selfinterested, and unsophisticated, but they're also our neighbors, colleagues, and relatives. And they're likely your clients, customers, or employees. If you want to move them toward greener behaviors and actions, you'll need to deal -- carefully and creatively -- with all the sobering reality of the green economy: that the overwhelming majority of shoppers in developing countries are, to put it mildly, self-absorbed. They want what they want-a safe and cleaner world, of course, but also a life filled with comfort and joy. No matter that the former may be directly linked to the latter. In the day-to-day struggles of work, family, finances, and all the rest, most people can't be bothered with the bigger picture-shifting social mores, political trends, changing family values, or the declining fate of the Earth. They're important, to be sure, but for most folks, saving the planet usually takes a back seat to saving the day.

Consumers find no irony in jumping into a sports-utility vehicle with underinflated tires and driving several miles out of their way to buy their favorite brand of recycled toilet paper. It eludes them that the environmental impacts of getting to and from the store might outweigh any of the green choices they can make up and down the aisles.

We want it all: inexpensive products made by companies that don't pollute and pay their workers well; luxury without guilt; safe, roomy, classy cars that don't use much gas; wind and solar power plants, as long as they're not nearby or in view; simple solutions to complex problems; and changes without changing.

Some of this is possible, technically speaking. We may yet reach the day when vehicles are powered by sunlight and oxygen, emitting nothing but air and water. We may clean up conditions in factories in the developing world-the ones that manufacture our dirt-cheap goods -- without raising the prices of the things they produce. We may reinvent our manufacturing systems so that they use renewable resources and closed-loop systems, eliminating smokestacks, drainpipes, and dumpsters. We may even curb rampant consumption, somehow deciding that less is more and that the lavish lifestyles of a relative few are bad for us all.

Maybe. But the road to a greener, cleaner economy will be long and arduous, with roadblocks, speed bumps, and detours at every turn. It will be more evolutionary than revolutionary, and we may never reach the state referred to as sustainability, in which we are able to conduct our affairs and live the way we do for eternity while ensuring quality lives for others.

But we'll try, and smart companies will prosper in the process.

Joel Makower is executive editor of GreenBiz.com. Excerpted with permission from Strategies for the Green Economy, by Joel Makower, published by McGraw Hill. © 2008 Joel Makower.

Article found on ww.greenbiz.com

Monday, October 20, 2008

Digital Ad Spend Up At The Expense of Traditional

According to a new Epsilon CMO Survey, Chief Marketing Officers at many of the biggest brands in the nation are seeing a major shift in the marketing landscape. 63% of the 175 marketing executives surveyed see an increase in their spending on interactive/digital marketing while 59% report a decrease in traditional marketing spend.

65% of CMOs say that the money spent on advertising as a whole will decrease due to the current economy. In contrast, 94% of CMOs and marketing executives agreed with the statement, 'A tough economic period is precisely the time when marketing plays a key role.'

When asked how their firm determines their target market for each channel:

  • 50% stated that they use data driven marketing techniques
  • 31% of respondents agreed that they use sophisticated modeling tools to analyze existing customer behavioral, preference and demographic data
  • 19% said that they analyze past purchase behavior
  • 28% said they made rough estimates based on past experience

Mike Iaccarino, CEO of Epsilon, says "... marketing executives are seeking accountability and measurable results. Data driven marketing is an increasingly important component of corporate marketing campaigns... "

CMOs of the biggest brands have been early adopters of new media with social computing and blogs receiving the most interest whereas instant messaging and interactive TV ads were the least popular.

  • Social computing (including word of mouth, social networking sites, viral advertising, etc.) was the most popular emerging channel with 42% of marketing executives expressing interest in adding it to their marketing mix
  • Blogs were the second most popular emerging channel: 35% of marketing executives want to pursue blogs and 19% already use blogs
  • Almost one-third of CMOs mentioned Podcasting as an area of interest: 31% are interested in adding Podcasting to their marketing mix and 18% already have.
  • Mobile devices also elicited interest: 29% are interested in Mobile Devices (Phones/PDAs) and 22% have added them to their marketing mix

Senior marketing executives anticipate further cuts, says the study, but are confident that they will be able to manage their budgets by focusing spending where it will have the greatest impact. As the overall marketing pool diminishes, the budget for interactive and digital marketing is dramatically increasing, while that for traditional marketing continues to shrink toward interactive, digital marketing:

Interactive/Digital Marketing:

  • Decreased... 14%
  • Increased... 63%
  • Stayed the same... 23%

While Traditional Marketing

  • Decreased... 59%
  • Increased... 13%
  • Stayed the same... 29%

Source: Epsilon, September 2008

The survey included 175 U.S. Chief Marketing Officers and marketing executives of some of the largest brands in the nation. 27% of respondents work at companies with $10 billion or more in annual revenues last year.

For additional information and a PDF file, please visit here.

Article found at mediapost.com

Monday, October 13, 2008

Complete LIME website up and running

Marketing, with a twist of LIME

LIME Marketing uses proven strategies to increase sales and build your business, but with a green mindset. We provide environmental marketing strategies to business and industry throughout Ohio. We work with you to determine and implement the most cost effective, environmentally sensitive methods of achieving your goals.

How green is your marketing?

Every business needs to be on the edge of technology. It’s how you stay ahead of your competition. The science of materials, processes and sales techniques are all coordinated to deliver the best results for your company.

Shouldn’t your marketing do that, too?

With a carefully-planned perspective and positioning of your products and services, we’ll help you use the power of green to differentiate your marketing and your company. To position you in your prospect’s mind as the leader in what you do, and how you do it.

Slices of LIME

LIME is a cooperative effort of five companies located throughout Columbus and Central Ohio.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Recycle Your Inkjet Cartridges

It's easy to reuse or recycle your inkjet cartridges, so get started today.

If you've been chucking your inkjet and toner cartridges in the garbage up to this point, you're not alone. Over 13 cartridges are discarded in the U.S. every second, according to CartridgeFundraising.com.

That's hundreds of millions of cartridges that end up in landfills every year, made with plastics that can take at least 1,000 years to decompose. Not a good thing.

It's actually easy to cut down on this waste. First off, some inkjet cartridges can be used more than once by buying a refill kit. If this seems too messy, take your empties (think copiers and faxes, too) to the nearest drop off center to be reused or recycled by others. (Plug your zip code into Earth911.org for nearby collection places.)

Many companies, such as Hewlett-Packard, take them back for free. They provide mailers or labels for you to ship them back to be recycled or refurbished.

It takes about 80% less energy to remanufacture plastic than to produce it new. And remanufactured laser cartridges use about half the amount of oil (a nonrenewable fossil fuel) needed to make brand new ones. So buy recycled cartridges to begin with. You'll save them from entering the waste stream.

This article was found here on thedailygreen.com.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How to Go Green: Furniture

[by Jacob Gordon]

Some people obsess over furniture. Others hardly even notice it's there. One way or the other, making environmentally savvy choices in furnishing your home or office can make a big difference in your impact on the planet and your health. The modern sustainability movement has attracted such a large number of innovative designers that it's hard to know where to start.

In this article we won’t be listing every green furniture company or designer under the sun but rather give a rundown of basic concepts that might guide your search. Of the specific products and brands we do mention, not all will be budget-friendly for everyone--at this point, a lot of the green design is still specialty stuff, and thus pretty high-end. But don't worry. There are always cost effective ways to go green. Keep reading to learn more about the best ways to go green with your furniture.

Read the article here on Planet Green.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Want to run a "GREEN" meeting or event?

Please click here to see some tips that will enable you to throw a great event and be environmentally conscious at the same time!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Reusable Bagging It, Envirosax-Style

There are quite a collection of cloth bags hanging in my kitchen closet - some washed so many times in the last half-dozen years the different advertising images are faded and barely legible. So perhaps it's not surprising that the bins full of designy shopping bags (mostly from Envirosax) at the Dansk Design Center store were a lot like colorful candy to me on the day I visited.

Reusable bags - how much would you pay?
But the prices were an obstacle. Never mind that everything in Copenhagen is just a little bit cooler and more expensive than it is in my home town. It just seemed that almost $20 for a reusable bag was outside my comfort level. Pretty far outside. (I later also realized the mark-up was outrageous...buy on the web.) But Envirosax' new Mikado prints were pretty cool - and the organic hemp, bamboo, and linen bags were just gorgeous (but are way past the comfort level at U.S.$24.95). So what did I do? The same thing I always do when I really love something - and this is 9 times out of 10 an eco-item that I think is too expensive...

...I bought it as a gift for a loved one. In this case, my husband, who actually had expressed previous desire for a cool reusable bag that would neatly fit in his go-everywhere backpack.

And really, despite the rather high price, the Envirosax turned out to be worth it - primarily because the giftee liked it so much our incoming plastic bag problem (aha!) suddenly dropped to almost zero. Light as a feather, which is great, but also roomy enough to hold the mid-week replenishing groceries - milk, butter, salad veggies, apples, and cereal - as well as a few items from the hardware store. Easily rolls back up into its squashed shape and snaps into its self-made pouch, which doesn't seem like a big deal but is great when you've got 50 other things in said back pack. The only downside (and it's a big one) - Envirosax' material is very handy, but it's polyester. Bummer.

Now my only regret is that Envirosax hasn't found suitable eco-polyester and that I didn't go ahead and really splurge on the 5-in-1 pack of Mikado designs. Then I could stop coveting my partner's bag from afar. Live and learn. Via ::Envirosax

Article found here.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Apr 1, 2006 12:00 PM , By Dick Goldsmith and Meta Brophy

Several years ago, McDonald's started serving Big Macs in paper containers instead of Styrofoam holders. The reason? Environmental groups took issue with the amount of Styrofoam winding up in landfills, almost never to be decomposed.

By making the switch to paper, McDonald's saved $12 million a year on oil. The company also saved a lot of Styrofoam, a non-renewable resource, from going into landfills and did wonders for its corporate image. These three points — saving money, saving resources and being a good corporate citizen — are the components of the triple bottom line.

Everyone should be concerned about the environment, but those in direct mail should be especially sensitive. After all, the first complaint many people make about direct mail is “Look at the waste of trees in my mailbox.” As more legislative bodies contemplate do-not-mail lists, this is something to consider.

Being proactive will help to mitigate this argument, aid the environment, and save mailers money as they improve their corporate and industry image. So what can individual mailers do? First, don't think it's just up to the big boys to switch to recycled paper. As the old public service ads used to say, “Every litter bit helps.”

Start at the beginning when you plan a new campaign. Design with the environment in mind.

  • Do you need to have a poly window on your envelope? The poly makes it much more difficult to recycle. Use an open window or glassine patch made from cellulose. Some marketers are using a corn-film-based window patch. It's biodegradable and made from a renewable resource.

  • Can you reduce the size of your mailing piece? If it's smaller you'll use less paper and save money on printing (see illustration).

  • Speaking of smaller, can you use a self-mailer or postcard? Again, you'll use less paper and pay less for printing and for inserting fewer components. In other words, can you effectively generate response while having a lower environmental impact?

  • Use a preprinted indicia or a meter on your outer envelopes. Self-adhesive stamps make the envelopes more difficult to recycle. The same is true for other pressure-sensitive stickers: Try to avoid using them.

  • Print on both sides of the paper. And try using a lighter weight paper or a slightly smaller roll size. As long as the opacity is OK, you shouldn't be affecting response.

  • Look into using groundwood paper, which is made using a mechanical pulping process instead of the chemical procedure used to make freesheet paper. It takes about 50% fewer trees to make an equivalent amount of paper and many groundwood sheets look pretty good these days. Check out Abitibi Consolidated's equal offset grade or its new innovative offset. It's 20% lighter than the equivalent sheet with a comparable look and feel. Fewer trees are used to make a groundwood sheet.

  • Check with your printers to see if you're making the best use of their press sizes. By reducing the size of a component by just a little you may get more pieces out of each press sheet

  • Find out if similar components can be run on the same press sheet.

  • Do you really need four-color process printing for that rate chart? Maybe two colors will work just as well.

  • With a personalized piece, try to make all changes in the data. By keeping different lots in a single stream, you'll save money by eliminating additional plates, paper and ink. Streamlining data saves version and setup charges, too.

    Catalogers can implement these ideas as well.

  • Check trim size and find out from your printer if it's using the best size for the equipment.

  • Can you use a lighter weight paper? It's possible to save on postage if you're paying a piece/pound rate. In any event, you'll save on freight and fuel if you ship a lighter piece. Test to find out.

  • Can your catalog be as productive with fewer pages? Do a careful analysis of each item to make sure it's pulling its weight.

  • Use selective binding so customers get fewer — but more relevant — pages.

  • Are a lot of people using those bound-in envelopes to place orders? Check to see if the cost is worth it for your catalog.

  • Ask your suppliers about their environmental policies and internal practices. Online proofing provides many environmental savings. Ask your printer if it stocks recycled or certified paper, and tracks chain of custody. Does the printer use soy inks? Does it recycle wastepaper and ink?

  • Make sure you use all the tools available — targeting, modeling, merge/purge and USPS address correction — to facilitate mail delivery to your best prospects. Also, use the Direct Marketing Association's Mail Preference Service. If people don't want your mail, why waste money and resources sending it to them?

  • Try to print near your lettershop to avoid extra transportation miles and costs. Use drop shipping to get your mail to its destination in the most direct manner. Ask whether your supplier or drop-ship destination can accept rail-side deliveries. Rail shipping uses much less fuel than trucking. If you're sending a large national mailing, it might make sense to split production to more than one shop to economize on transportation.

What can you do right now? Develop an environmental policy statement for your company. Appoint an environmental leader who will carry the ball and has management support. Put together a team of employees who also are concerned. Measure results, just like you measure all the other things you do in direct marketing. Take action and then reinvest your savings in additional initiatives. Seek partnerships with other companies, environmental organizations and the community groups where you do business.

Finally, let everyone know what you've accomplished. And encourage customers to recycle what they've received from you.

Article found here.


Paper Power

Recycled paper use — and better collection — can benefit direct mailers

If your company already has a control that possibly could be improved from an environmental standpoint, start slowly by testing every component. Like all other testing, test only one change at a time. It's a slow, evolutionary process, so start with the items that can have the biggest impact, like printing on both sides of a piece of paper.

Many people think switching to paper with recycled content is all that's required to help the environment. It does help. But other things can have a greater impact. When considering recycled paper, think post-consumer content, which is actually recovered from recycling programs. The more post-consumer fiber we use, the greater the demand grows, capturing the attention of more paper companies that might be more inclined to make an effort to collect and recycle.

Collection is a big issue. One of the bigger problems associated with collection is that so many people live in remote areas and collection is economically prohibitive. One idea that seems to make a lot of sense and warrants further discussion is for the U.S. Postal Service to use its vehicles to collect paper from these areas. The vehicles go out with mail every day; they could come back with recyclable paper. The USPS already has a recycling program for undeliverable mail and has trash bins in post offices. This would expand the program and provide an additional revenue stream, which the USPS certainly can use.

Environmentalists also are concerned with preserving our old-growth forests, which provide unique ecosystems for plant and animal life. Clear-cutting — the felling and removal of all trees from a given tract of forest — can destroy these ecosystems. Therefore, programs now exist by which the forestry practices of paper companies can be certified by independent auditors. Look for and ask your firm's printers to buy paper made from trees harvested under one of these forestry certification programs.
Dick Goldsmith and Meta Brophy