What it Means to go Green

We are encompassed by the words green, eco-friendly, and sustainable, but do we really know what it fully means to be eco-friendly and go green? Going green are steps we can take to replace environmentally harmful behaviors with behaviors that are friendly. These new behaviors can be simple or complex based on small or large scale atmospheres. Smaller scale behaviors can be done at home by an individual or a few others, while large scale operations can be done by corporations trying to become more sustainable overall.

Going green is centered around three words: reduce, reuse, and recycle. There are many ways to put these words into action and become more eco-friendly. One person can make a difference by following those three words in their everyday lives. One can reduce the amount of plastic bag usage by bringing their own bags when shopping. Reusable bottles can be used for water, juice, ect instead of drinking bottled beverages. And a person can take part in a recycling program at home so items can have the chance to be made into something else instead of going to the landfill.

Corporations can take their part in helping the environment by reducing, reusing, and recycling. Companies can find ways to make their packaging more eco-friendly by reducing ink and print content or the use of plastics. Amazon did this with their “frustration free” packaging by reducing content on their boxes and just having words on their packaging. They can also take their waste products from production and find ways to reuse them in other aspects of their business. PepsiCo’s UK Walkers brand potato chips did this by using the starch from their unused potato peels. Companies can also sprinkle eco-friendliness in their offices by initializing a recycling program and getting employees involved.

Every little bit of time we take to do things to be more eco-friendly helps our planet. So what does it mean to go green? Anything that will help the earth is an act of going green. Whether its done by an individual or a corporation, we can all take out part in protecting our planet.

 

A Unique Spin on Books.

We’ve featured artists in the past who incorporate our favorite R’s; reduce, reuse, recycle. We thought it was time to spotlight another talented artist.  Mike Stilkey of Los Angeles is a unique artist with an unique medium.  One of his go to canvasses is old books.  Here are a few of his incredible paintings.

 

For more information visit:

Mike Stilkey

2009 Greener Package Awards

With the growing concern for sustainable packaging, Greener Package decided to recognize the green efforts of companies moving in the right direction with environmentally-friendly innovations.  The winners come from a range of different industries, including food, pharmaceutical, personal care, and household care.  Here is the list they came up with:

Greener Package Award

  • sustainable-packaging-awards-greener-2009Entropy Solutions–Greenbox thermal management (Winner of Innovator of the Year)
  • Estee Lauder–Aveda Vintage Clove Shampoo & cap collection program
  • Bryce Corporation–SunChips bag from 33% PLA
  • Robbie Mfg.–Hot N Handy Bio-Pouch
  • ConAgra-rPET in CPET trays for Healthy Choice
  • Ampac–Patch Perfect
  • Rexam PLC–rPET in APET drug ovals
  • Unisource Worldwide–recycled toys with 100% recyclable packaging

sustainable-packaging-awards-greener-winners-2009

Retail Leadership Award

Clean Manufacturing Award

All of these companies are setting the mark for their competition.  If they want to stay in the game, they must follow suit with their green efforts, or go above and beyond, because eco-friendly packaging is here to stay.

Set Goals and Measure Your Environmental Progress

If you’re like most people, you keep hearing about companies going green to both please customers and help the environment.  It can be overwhelming to try to manage your company’s green efforts if you don’t have much experience, but even small steps towards becoming more environmentally-friendly can help.  That is why it is important to set goals for yourself and your company that you can achieve.

I found some tips and goals to benchmark your environmental progress from the marketing magazine, Deliver, that can help your company in its start to become more eco-friendly:

Paper Procurement & Use

think-green-environmental-progress-goals

  • Increase wood/paper purchases from recognized forest certification programs (by X percent by X year).
  • Indicate use of suppliers affiliated with sustainable forestry practices that protect forest ecosystems and biodiversity as well as provide the wood and paper products our company needs.
  • Increase purchase of environmentally preferable paper used for marketing pieces, product packaging, and/or internal consumption (by X percent by X year).
List Hygiene & Data Management
  • Reduce unwanted and duplicate mailings and provide greater choice regarding opt out and/or subject matter of mailings to customers (by X year).
Mail Design & Production
  • Reduce waste allowances and in-process waste when designing and printing (by X percent by X year).
  • Calculate total waste reduction occurred through a lowering of waste allowances.
Packaging
  • Increase purchases of environmentally preferable packaging (by X percent by X year).
  • Use recyclable packaging in (X percent/the majority of/all) shipments, imprinted with recycling information for customers (by X year).
Recycling & Pollution Reduction

recycle-environmental-progress-goals

  • Increase purchases of office papers, packing and packaging materials made from recycled materials with post-consumer content wherever feasible (by X percent by X year).
  • Use (X percent) post-consumer content recycled materials in all production (by X year).
  • Collect and recycle (X percent) of all discarded office paper (by X year).
  • Calculate your organization’s total carbon footprint (incorporating suppliers and customer as well as internal operations).
  • Reduce unnecessary/excess paper use for external and internal communications (by X percent by X year).

Repurposing Packaging Materials

It’s been said that 30 percent of all garbage is packaging…but who says packaging has to be garbage?  many forms of packaging can be recycled, such as cardboard, paper, glass, and some plastics.  But there still are other options if the packaging is not recyclable.  It can be reused again or re-purposed to do something else.

Rodney had the idea to re-purpose one of the most un-eco materials around, Styrofoam, into stunning lamps.

It’s amazing where a little creativity can get you.

Anti-Litter Ad Campaign

Advertising agency, Colenso BBDO, which is located in Auckland, New Zealand, created this anti-litter ad campaign, “The Heart of the City: Rubbish”:

eco-friendly anti-litter ad campaign trash

Each day, the litter around the bus stop was collected and placed inside the bus stop.  This ad was intended to show how quickly litter can add up when people don’t put in the effort to recycle or throw their trash in the garbage can.  It may just seem like a big deal to litter one wrapper, but if everyone does it, it really adds up.  If we all come together and be more environmentally-friendly, we can really make a difference.  Who wants to look at trash all over the city anyway?  Let’s just hope people don’t start to think the bus stop is the new garbage can!

Wrap Without Waste

environmentally-friendly gift wrapWith growing environmental concerns, we are constantly hearing the phrase, “Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.” This is especially apparent with shopping bags and wasted wrapping. According to a study by the Clean Air Council, the United States generates an extra five million tons of waste in the winter holiday months, four of which come from gift wrapping, gift bags, and shopping bags. That is an enormous amount of waste that could be reduced by using reusable materials.

If you are looking to help the environment and reduce waste from gift wrapping, we found the BOBO Wrapping Scarf online, which can do both for you. Not only are these wrapping scarves classy and fashionable, but they are also good for the environment. They are reusable and typically made from already existing fabrics, rather than wasting and using raw materials. I thought this wrapping scarf was a great green alternative to gift wrapping. It is reusable, durable, and stylish. eco-friendly cloth bag

When you think about packaging any of your products, think of a reusable package that will last. At Sunrise, we make durable packaging, which you will not have to replace nearly as often, so you can help reduce waste. Many of our products are also made from recyclable, biodegradable or recycled materials, and we recycle all of our excess materials. So get out there, do your part to reduce waste, and help our environment.

Greenhouse environmental management – the green house provides businesses with tailored waste management programs to minimize their waste output and costs.

One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure

It seems like now, more than ever, people are paying attention to the environment, and they are showing this by recycling and choosing more eco-friendly options.  Reduce, reuse, and recycle.  This is what some artists are doing by making a living selling art that they made out of waste.

Anouk Zijlma showed off some great pieces of recycled art she purchased while visiting Cape Town, South Africa.  There were a variety of different objects made from soda cans, plastic bottles, barbed wire, chip bags, bottle caps, metal scraps, etc.  These pieces of art make great souvenirs, and they all work, even the radio and the pen!

Radio with casing made from beer cans, bottle caps, and wire. © Michael Daecher

Radio with casing made from beer cans, bottle caps, and wire. © Michael Daecher

Flower pen made from soda cans. © Michael Daecher

Flower pen made from soda cans. © Michael Daecher

Toy guitar made from soda cans and wire. © Michael Daecher

Toy guitar made from soda cans and wire. © Michael Daecher

Angel made from soda cans, steel wool, and wire. © Michael Daecher

Angel made from soda cans, steel wool, and wire. © Michael Daecher

Car made from soda cans, plastic bottles, bottle tops, and wire. © Michael Daecher

Car made from soda cans, plastic bottles, bottle tops, and wire. © Michael Daecher

Cow made from plastic can and bottle tops. © Michael Daecher

Cow made from plastic can and bottle tops. © Michael Daecher

Toy motorbike made from soda cans, barbed wire, spray can tops (wheels), and plastic tubing. © Michael Daecher

Toy motorbike made from soda cans, barbed wire, spray can tops (wheels), and plastic tubing. © Michael Daecher

Crocodile made from insect repellent can. © Michael Daecher

Crocodile made from insect repellent can. © Michael Daecher

Placemat made from chip bags, sticks, and black thread. © Michael Daecher

Placemat made from chip bags, sticks, and black thread. © Michael Daecher

Flower made from soda cans and barbed wire. © Michael Daecher

Flower made from soda cans and barbed wire. © Michael Daecher

Not only do these pieces of art help reduce waste, but they make great souvenirs.  Since she bought these in South Africa, the waste used can remind her of her trip and the brands of food and drinks that were available there.  By reusing and recycling these materials, less waste is being generated, which is better for the environment.  Give one as a creative gift and show that you know what it means to recycle.

Mother’s Day CD Case Card

May is Green Packaging Month at Sunrise. In May, we focus on communicating ways to create packaging that is unique, helps you stand out from the crowd, and is also environmentally responsible… yes, you can have all three. Check out our Green Packaging Pages for more information.

reusable creative mothers day cd jewel case cardTo get us started, since Mother’s day is next weekend, we found a web site that will help you turn an unused CD case into a beautiful card for Mom!

Here’s a picture of the completed project. check out the craftylife blog for complete instructions.

Be sure to let us know how your card turned out. In fact, send us a picture and we’ll highlight it in a post! (We’ll wait until after Mother’s Day to keep the surprise)

The next time you need a binder, CD/DVD/USB case, box or sales kit, give your favorite Account Manager a call and we’ll help you create a work of art that will be environmentally friendly too.

Where Can You Recycle DVD Cases?

Ever wonder what to do with all of your old DVD cases when you switch to storing your discs in multi-disc DVD casesblack premium dvd case reuse or DVD albums? They are not curbside recyclable, but there are still other options to get rid of your old cases without having to throw them in a landfill.

Reuse
First, a good idea is to see if anyone else can reuse your old DVD cases. A number of places would love to take them off of your hands:

  • libraries,
  • schools, and
  • churches

These types of organizations always need replacement DVD cases for their media collections. Some schools have classes where students create videos on DVD and they could use cases to display and protect their projects.

reduce reuse recycle dvd casesDonate
Another place to donate would be Goodwill or another thrift store. They receive donations of discs without cases or with broken cases, and it would be much easier to sell a DVD with a case. They could also just sell the empty cases. Video rental stores or any store that sells used DVDs would also gladly take your used cases as replacements.

Or there are websites like Freecycle where you can post items that you would rather give away than create waste by throwing them in the garbage.

Recycle
If the cases are broken or they cannot be reused for some reason, there are still other alternatives to throwing them away. You can’t put DVD cases in your curbside recycling bin, but you can check with your local recycling center to see if they will take them. Earth911.com can help you find a local recycling center for certain types of materials.

There are other centers that we found where you can send in your old DVD cases. There is not charge, but they may ask for a small donation to help cover costs:

Plastic Recycling, Inc.
2015 S. Pennsylvania St.
Indianapolis, IN 46225

CD Recycling Center
68H Stiles Road
Salem, NH 03079

There are plenty of options available to reduce waste by having your DVD cases reused or recycled, rather than just throwing them in the garbage. Just another way you can be more environmentally-friendly.