Customized Reusable Shopping Bags: Good for the Environment; Great for Your Company!

September 22, 2008

How would you like to put your name and advertising logo into the pocket or purse of each of your customers, while at the same time, greenifying your business and saving money long-term?

It’s possible.  Environmentalists estimate that 500 billion to 1 trillion of the bags are now used worldwide every year.  And studies show that 100,000 marine animals perish every year because of the plastic bags.  Maybe it’s time you looked around for reusable shopping bags for your customers. 

You can order them in your favorite colors, numerous styles and with your logo and name on the exterior.  Some fold up so small they fit in pockets or purses.  Others flatten for easy transport. 

And here’s another reason to put your bag into your customers’ hands.  If you think about it, when was the last time you wanted to carry a bag with one company’s logo on it into a competing company’s store to load on supplies?  Custom-made re-usable bags help reinforce brand loyalty while giving your business a reputation for “going green.”   And if you think saving the environment is a noble cause, think about how many fewer bags you’d have to buy down the road.  It might take a while to see those savings, but “if you provide them, they will come.”  And come again. 

Greenifying your business has benefits in so many ways, doesn’t it?  

Here are several companies that make customized reusable bags:

http://www.reusethisbag.com/

http://www.tansclub.com/cottontotebag.html?gclid=COzhsfat8JUCFQykagod7WVBfA

http://dealbags.com/tote_bags.html


Greenify Your Shipping Methods

September 12, 2008

Did you know that the box that you check to indicate your shipping preference can have an impact on the environment? A recent on-line shopping site I was perusing had a box in the shipping section that said "Go Green Go Ground." According to Onlineshoes, "ground shipping methods use about 1/8th less fuel than similar air or expedited methods."

While making a choice to go green with your shipment method, they offer one more piece of advice. Go Green and Get it Faster. Ship your package to work. They give three reasons to ship your good to your office rather than your home. 

·      Your delivery is more likely to arrive safe and secure at a business address.

·      You'll get it on the first delivery attempt.

·      Less fuel will be used. Business districts are usually closer to shipping centers, so carriers can deliver more items in a shorter distance.

The next time you are greenifying your purchases by shopping on-line, consider greenifying your shipping method as well. Happy shopping!
 


Green Polar Bears??

September 8, 2008

Can it be? Is it true? Are polar bears making an attempt to Greenify? Apparently the answer is yes. Well, yes for a few select polar bears that reside at the Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens in central Japan. Check out the picture. Before you jump to conclusions, these bears did not change their diets, or start a recycling program. Rather, their furry white coats have actually gone green. I doubt that they are trying to make an eco-statement to the world. Or perhaps they are.

However, zoo officials claim that the polar bears tactic to go green was just a chance event. It was the result of a lot of July swimming in an algae-filled pond. It is difficult to remove the algae from the bears' thick fur. It seems that this new fashion statement on their part is here to stay until the November time-frame. At that point, hopefully the temperatures will sub-side and so will the algae growth.


Is your college ready to Greenify?

September 3, 2008

September is here. Labor Day has come and gone. Colleges and Universities around the country are welcoming students back to campus for the start of the academic year. It's time to hit the books, start studying and try to get good grades. While you are spending time in the library and on the computer, do you wonder whether your college is making the grade in an effort to Greenify?

Well now you can find out thanks in part ot the Princeton Review which recently added a green rating to its annual ranking of the best colleges. This score measures how "environmentally friendly, responsible, and committed the institutions are."

Here is a list of the univerisities that scored 99 out of a possible 100:

  • Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Bates College
  • Binghamton University
  • College of the Atlantic
  • Emory University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Harvard University
  • University of New Hampshire
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Washington
  • Yale University

The complete list is in the 2009 editions of the Princeton Review college books.


Greening of the US Open Tennis Event

August 26, 2008

A few years ago, the famed US Open Tennis Grand Slam resurfaced the courts and made them blue. This year the tournament is going green. The USTA is putting into place a series of “green” initiatives. Their goal is to reduce the environmental impact of the US Open while at the same time, educating tennis fans about the benefits of being more eco-friendly. As they mentioned in the press release, "More than 700,000 fans annually visit the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center during the two weeks of the US Open, so if everyone lends a hand, these initiatives can potentiallymake a real difference."

Some highlights of the steps they are taking to Greenify the event include:

  • Constellation Energy (who also happens to be the official REC partner of Green Business Alliance), the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center's electricity supplier, will supply Green-e Certified wind Renewable Energy Certificates to offset the electricity consumption during the 2008 US Open
  • Recycling the tennis ball cans and the tennis balls after the tournament
  • Purchasing 2.4 million 90% post-consumer waste napkins to be used in the food pavillion
  • Implementing an aluminum and plastic bottle recycling program on the grounds
  • Reducing the numbers of computer servers being used throughout the tournament

As they say at the bottom of their Green web page, "Please do your part. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. It would be great if everyone could leave the 2008 US Open with golden memories—and an appreciation for all things green."


Green School Building

August 22, 2008

The first day of school is always exciting. This year, for some of our local kids there was an added bonus - a Green School Year. A new lower school building that is LEED certified. Brand new construction, brand new LEED Certifcation! Exciting.

What does this really mean for the kids? As the head of the lower school noted in an email (note...not a paper flier in the backpack), "In line with the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards the new music floor will be sealed with a water based finish. Indeed there have been no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) used during the construction. In addition, the natural light from the solar tubes and the excellent air quality provided by the 100% fresh air drawn in by our main roof top A/C units will provide an exceptionally healthy environment."

The floors on the main entry have river rock and recycled colored glass mixed in the polished concrete. In addition, the toilets have a 'special' flush according to my youngest child. The great news is that this seems to be a trend across the country...more schools are planning on building LEED certified when planning their expansions and current building projects. As the kids say, the new school year has begun. As a parent I think, the new Green school year has begun!


Green Resources

July 3, 2008

As you can imagine, here at the Green Business Alliance, we come across a lot of very cool ideas, links and ways to Greenify. I thought I’d share some of our new finds today.

Our friends at Southeastern Printing offer “GreenInk” which is an environmentally friendly printing process using recycled paper, Forest Stewardship Council/Smart Wood certified paper, low VOC’s, and computer to plate technology which reduces film waste. They have gone a step further and are now offering green friendly carbonless forms from NatureSolv featuring organic, low VOC ink and recycled paper. Check them out the next time you need to order carbonless forms!

I’ve just started checking out the UK based site Green Uses for Waste. Following up on last month’s Greenify your wedding post, they have ideas for reusing the materials used at your wedding. They’ve also got some interesting facts- such as that it takes two liters of oil to create one laser ink cartridge.

Carbon offsets are talked about a lot these days. Offsetters has an interesting site with calculators and descriptions of partners and projects they work with in an effort to reduce CO2 pollution.

BuyGreen sells just about everything you can imagine needing from recycled paper to ties for your dog (all right, maybe your dog doesn’t need a tie) to organic bedding.

Anyway, they all offer some neat ideas, maybe something will tickle your fancy and Greenify your life a little more! Happy 4th of July!


Go Green with Local Harvest

June 13, 2008

Going back to an earlier post March post, have you heard about the local challenge? It is a challenge to each of us to eat at least one meal a week in which all ingredients come from no more than 100 miles away. If you are so inclined, you could challenge yourself to become a true localvore (or locavore) who eats almost exclusively within a 100 mile radius.

One fifth of all petroleum used in the US is used by the food industry. And of that amount, four fifths are used to move food from one place to another. Since the average ingredient travels 1500 miles before it reaches your plate, 6 to 12 % of every dollar spent on food is for transportation costs. If you shop at a farmer’s market, the farmer will keep about 90 cents of every dollar you spend with him. If you shop for your ingredients at a grocery store, 91 cents of every dollar will go to the middlemen and the farmer will receive 9 cents.

A great website to find food local to you is Local Harvest.

Community Supported Agriculture or CSA is one way to work towards being a localvore. The CSA farmer will provide you with a specified amount of produce every week over their growing season. The one I belong to delivers about a ½ bushel of assorted vegetables, fruits, berries, honey and herbs a week for approximately $18 a week. The CSA share is paid in advance, allowing the farmer a regular income.

If you have an office summer picnic, consider asking everyone to bring items made from local produce. It could be a fun way to introduce everyone to the local challenge while making an effort to greenify your meal.


The Latest Green Gadgets

May 27, 2008

Is it just me or does everyone like to check out all the new gadgets that the Green movement has been producing? I love my solar watch, not to mention solar radio/alarm clock. A friend of mine is waiting for her economic stimulus check to arrive in July, so that she can purchase a cordless electric lawnmower complete with a small solar panel to charge it.

Saazs has developed light emitting glass. Instead of a light bulb, the entire fixture radiates a warm light. The glass has been used in walls, tables and floors. You will have to go to Paris to see the showroom and then spend between E 4,300 and E 5,300 to actually get one of the lights. But, the lights will last for about 50,000 hours – or 20 years! And the Planilum technology used is very cool- 4 layers of a special glass, a rare gas and serigraphed phosphors.

The Solio has been around for a year or more, and is another gadget on my wish list. A little hand held solar charger, it can power up your cell phone, iPod, GPS, digital camera and more. One hour of free solar charging will give you twenty minutes of talk time. How great is that for those camping trips where you can’t afford to be out of touch with the office for long. And if your locale features more wind than sun, there is the HYmini, a handheld wind turbine.

Does your commute to work involve biking? Puma is now selling the “Stealth Visibility Bike”- a glow in the dark bicycle- improving your visibility on your way home after dark.

It is easier than ever to Greenify with some of these gadgets!


Giving Green Business Gifts

May 22, 2008

Do you ever purchase gifts for clients, associates or employees? Here’s another area where it is becoming easier than ever to Greenify. Green gifts will have a low environmental impact and support local economies in a fair manner.

If flowers are your go-to-gift, start looking for organic flowers and ideally, for locally grown organic flowers. By buying locally, you are assisting the local economy as well as avoiding all that CO2 from flying flowers in. Check out Local Harvest for flower growers near you. Organic Bouquets or California Organic Flowers are good defaults if local flowers are not available. Most cut flowers are grown in South America and Africa and are heavily doused with pesticides, including pesticides which are illegal to use in the US. The chemicals negatively impact the flower workers, the ground water, soil and the surrounding villages.

If you prefer to send a food gift, maybe Equal Exchange would appeal. You can send a gift of fairly traded coffee, tea or chocolate. The farmers who grow these products do so in sustainable manner and receive a fair wage for their work. Or what about finding a local baker who uses organic ingredients and buy a couple dozen cookies or cupcakes?

Ten Thousand Villages offers a wide assortment of gift ideas. Ten Thousand Villages purchases their items from artisans in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, using Fair Trade agreements.

If your company regularly hands out promotional gifts, much of that can be Greenified. In an earlier post I mentioned green office supplies- you can use the same concepts if you give away printed paper products, pens or other supplies.

Giving green may take a little more forethought than just calling up the florist and ordering flowers. But it is worth it to take that extra time, lessen the environmental impact and help to have a positive influence on someone’s life.


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