The Beauty of Cardboard

Many look at cardboard and see it as a simple packaging material.  To often it finds its way to the trash instead of being recycled.  But as the cliche goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”  This is the case for Mark Langan, who is an artist based out of Ohio that has made his life’s work out of corrugated boxes.

As his website states;

…I see it as an endless supply source that I purge from my trash and neighborhoods, reusing it towards my creations.  Artwork that is intriguing to the viewer whereas one might ponder quite some time over. A form of green art, that makes a definitive statement with its contribution to the recycling movement.

With a touch of brilliance Mark takes “reuse” to a new level.  Revamping simple cardboard into breath taking works of art.  Here are a few samples of his work.

http://keetsa.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/langan3.jpghttp://cwoca.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/Salutation-Mark-Langan1.jpg

For more information visit:

Langa Art

Google Images

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).

Zero Waste Week 2009

I recently came across a site for Zero Waste Week, which started on Monday and concludes this Sunday. All week long, people across the world have been making small changes in their lives to eliminate or reduce their amount of waste. By coming together and taking these small steps, we can reduce the amount of waste thrown into the landfills and become more environmentally-responsible.Going-Green-Zero-Waste-Week-Environmentally-Friendly

Last year, they offered prizes and incentives for people who participated, but this year, they wanted to try something different. There are no incentives, because they want people to want to help the environment by reducing the amount of waste generated and sent to the landfills. This way, they hope for people to continue in their efforts long after Zero Waste Week is over, rather than just doing it now for a prize.

You can reduce waste by using durable, reusable packaging or by making sure that it is recyclable and made from recycled materials. We can all work on doing our part to reduce waste and help the environment. Have any ideas to reduce waste even more? Let us know!

Seasonal Packaging Goes Green

Christmas is still months away, but Nestle is already thinking about their seasonal packaging and going green for the holidays. In the past, chocolate makers have often been known for wasteful and unnecessary packaging, especially for special seasonal promotions. This is the new target to work on, and Nestle is going at it.

Custom-Packaging-Boxes-Nestle-Seasonal-Green-Eco-FriendlyAccording to Food Production Daily, Nestle will be making all of its Christmas selection custom boxes fully recyclable. One change they made was removing the plastic inserts that held the chocolate bars in place and replacing them with a card presentation tray. This way, the chocolate can still be nicely displayed in the custom box and be easily recycled when you are finished with it. This is one step for Nestle to be more environmentally-friendly in their packaging to reduce waste and address the concerns of their environmentally-conscious customers.

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.

Reusable Packaging: The Packaging is the Product

When we think of being “green” and environmentally-friendly, we think of the 3 R’s: reduce, reuse, and recycle.  TreeHugger showed some ways that companies are offering reusable packaging in a new way, in which the packaging is actually a part of the product itself.

With this product, lite2go by knoend, the clear packaging is actually the lampshade for the lamp:

Repurposed Packaging Lampshade

This design, created by Tom Ballhatchet, utilizes the box that the TV is packaged in as a stand for the TV with shelves for your DVD cases or Blu-Ray cases:

Repurposed Packaging TV Stand

With this laptop in a bag, HP won Wal-Mart’s Reduced Packaging Award for its Pavilion dv6929.  Instead of coming in a box with styrofoam inserts, this laptop comes in a reusable messenger bag (made from recycled fabric) with a few plastic bags inside to hold the parts.  With this design, HP was able to reduce the conventional packaging by 97 percent:

Repurposed Packaging Laptop Bag

Steve Haslip designed the HangerPak, so that the packaging that holds the product can also be used for the product; the package transforms into a hanger for the t-shirt inside:

Repurposed Packaging Cardboard Hanger

Although I’m not too keen on the idea of sitting on a cardboard chair, I do give props to David Graas for coming up with a line of flat packaging that can be put together into furniture:

Repurposed Packaging Cardboard Chair

These are all examples of how companies are encouraging customers to reduce waste by reusing the packaging of their products for other purposes.  By doing this and recycling when you are finished, you can be on your way to being more eco-friendly.

Have a “Green” 4th of July

Environmentally-friendly Green 4th of JulyAs we celebrate our nation’s holiday this year, let’s have fun and honor our country, without harming our environment.  The Environmental Blog provided 5 tips for a “green” 4th of July:

1.  Buy organic food. Support local farmers markets by buying their organic fruits and vegetables.  Buy local and cut down on transportation.  You could even shop with reusable shopping bags.

2.  Bust out the silverware. Avoid wasting paper plates, napkins, cups, and plastic utensils.  Save money by using your own plates and washing them.  If you must use disposable plates and cups, try to find biodegradable alternatives.

3.  Grill on the “green” side. Use a non-toxic cleaner on your grill.Environmentally-friendly Green 4th of July Grilling Cut back on grilling and carbon emissions by eating fresh veggies, or grill food that will cook quickly, such as thin meats, fish, marshmallows, or veggies.

4.  Buy “green” charcoal. Use 100% all-natural hardwood lump charcoal.  They don’t have any chemicals or fillers, they burn faster, and produce less ash.  This leftover ash from all-natural charcoal can be sprinkled around your plants to keep the bugs away.

5.  Substitute lighter fluid. Try using a chimney starter, instead of toxic lighter fluid.  They are inexpensive and you don’t have to worry about the toxic fluids cooking into your food.

Don’t forget to use these tips and add a little “green” to your red, white, and blue festivities this year.  Not only would you be more environmentally-friendly, but you could save money as well!

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.