Packaging is the gateway to a deeper conversation about sustainability






RSS

Reprints/License

Print

Email










Lisa McTigue Pierce, Executive Editor — Packaging Digest, 7/15/2013 9:58:11 AM





Jim HannaJim HannaHow do you use packaging to communicate your sustainable strategy to customers? Come and find out.

 

On July 17, 2013, Jim Hanna, director, environmental impact, Starbucks Coffee Co., will speak at the Packaging Digest Global Food & Beverage Packaging Summit conference in Chicago. His topic: “How we build successful sustainable packaging.”

 

Here, he gives us a preview of some key points in his presentation. For more information about the conference and/or to register, visit www.fbpackaging.com.

 

Q: What is the Starbucks approach to sustainable design in packaging?

Hanna: Our approach is to focus on the entire life cycle of the packaging from raw material sourcing all the way to end of life and to where we can use the life cycle approach assessment to determine the true sustainability of packaging. A lot of folks focus on materials or on end of life specifically. As a company that is focusing pretty heavily on climate change as one of our primary environmental drivers, the climate footprint of our packaging is one of the essential pieces that we take a hard look at.

 

Q: Why is this holistic approach so successful?


Hanna:
It’s successful because it’s credible. Unfortunately, there’s still lot of green washing in sustainable packaging out there. Our approach is agnostic to type of material. It looks really at where the true inputs are going into manufacturing and packaging. How do we design packaging in the best way to not only reduce all the environmental impacts of it but make it appropriate for existing end-of-life management infrastructures out there? 

We’re not a company that has a zero-waste goal because zero-waste goals are often the distraction from reality. We will always create some waste. We’re not a company that focuses on landfill diversion as the only definition of sustainable packaging because, again, landfill diversion doesn’t necessarily equate to environmental efficacy or environmental mitigation. We try to take a credible, long term approach and not get trapped into a lot of the fads and trends we see out there today, which play a role at raising awareness of the issues of packaging’s footprint—but often don’t tell the complete story by locking on to one specific metric of a package’s sustainability. 

Also, we’ve always taken a collaborative approach to defining sustainable packaging because, if we’re going to be successful as an industry, we have to be working together as an industry to create the necessary scale and break down some of the largest barriers to issues like waste management and harmonization of materials. We’ve done number of initiatives over the years that have brought stakeholders into the room from up and down the entire value chain to create a sense of thinking like an integrated system toward a common purpose.

 

Q: Why do you think it’s beneficial to engage the community in your sustainability efforts?


Hanna:
When we define our community, it’s the 60 million people that walk through our doors as customers every week, it’s the places where we operate our stores and the impact that we have on those towns, as well as the place that we hold within those communities as a contributor to their livelihoods. It’s also the nearly 200,000 partners that put on the green apron as employees of Starbucks every day.

Finally, we see our community as the stakeholders who have influence in our company and are keen on how our company operates because of the size and the ubiquity of our brand and the reach it has on a global scale. Whatever their area of focus, these stakeholders have a key interest in the betterment of our world and they are looking to corporate leaders to solve these tough global issues. 

If we’re not engaged with those folks, then we’re not relevant with them. Obviously, from a customer base, that impacts sales. But from a community base, it impacts the place that we hold within those neighborhoods, and our ability to operate successfully within them. It’s beneficial for every company to be directly engaged with their communities—however they define them—because it’s critical to their success.

 

Q: How do your customers influence your sustainable packaging initiatives? 


Hanna:
That’s an interesting question because often I think that we, as companies, aren’t necessarily aligned with what our customers expect from us around sustainable packaging. 

Here’s a good example: We were the first large company in the world to take the use of food-contact post-consumer fiber to scale. With our supply chain partners, we went through the challenges of getting FDA approval (to the FDA, “approval” is defined as a “no objection”) for food-contact post-consumer fiber. It took us a number of years to make that happen and, although we’re still one of the only companies out there using post-consumer fiber at scale for food contact in our hot paper cups, we haven’t necessarily seen a significant resonance within a customer base around that leadership model. 

You don’t see customers out there asking “Why are you only 10 percent PCF Starbucks? You really should increase that to 20, 30, 40, 50 percent” or whatever the number is. 

Consumers, especially in the U.S. and Canada, define sustainable packaging by focusing on end of life. That’s caused us to focus a lot of effort and resources into creating solutions for our packaging because we know that’s what resonates most with our customers. Yes, we work to mitigate the footprint of our packaging from cradle to grave. But we need to realize that our customers, and most consumers, are locked in on end-of-life as their definition of sustainable packaging today.

We need to create solutions for our customers so we can have broader conversations about the true sustainability of packaging and about the sustainability of our businesses. 

Here’s another example: Around 75 percent of our environmental footprint comes from the operation of our stores. Three years ago, we made a commitment to reduce that operating footprint and set out to build every company-owned store in the world to be LEED-certified. If you’re familiar with the challenges of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification system, that’s a really big deal. That being said, if you ask any customer what is Starbucks’ greatest environmental footprint, most of them will assume it’s our cups. 

I always jokingly say, I would much rather customers come into our stores and say ‘I choose to shop at Starbucks because you guys have this super-efficient HVAC system, because as a conscious consumer, I get that this is where the rubber hits the road when we talk about Starbucks’ environmental impact and good for you guys for addressing it!’ 

I know to even attempt to get to that point, what we’re going to have to do is solve for the most pressing and prominent issue in their eyes-which is our packaging. It’s essential that we at Starbucks, and that we as an industry that’s using single-serve packaging, solve these end-of-life issues for our customers regardless of the contribution they make to our total footprint, so that we can shift the conversation to more pressing environmental issues.

If you look at the global problems we face around environmental degradation, climate change, water scarcity and other pressing issues, citizens and consumers have to be focused on what really matters if they are to play an impactful role in shifting the direction of current negative environmental trends. It’s our job as businesses to help them understand where the real impacts lie and how the choices they make every day as consumers have a huge impact on the environment. 

If we as a business sector are just placating their current perception of environmental impact—which we often do, unfortunately—we’re not going to be able to cross that hurdle to really focus on solving the true and massive environmental issues we face. Yes, we cannot downplay the importance of solid waste management, including the impact that recycling and diversion have on climate change. But the conversation can’t end here.

 

Q: How can packaging help show a brand’s commitment to environmental responsibility? How can your packaging communicate all of what you just said? 


Hanna:
Packaging is that tangible, touchable, seeable thing that is our first and primary touch point with our customers. Packaging must tell the right story to begin the conversation around sustainability. 

Packaging is the starting point and is the gateway to great conversations. It’s essential that we get that part right because that puts our customers and consumers on the path of either trusting the brands they’re using or not trusting them. If we can build that level of trust, if we’re doing the right thing around packaging, then that gives us the ability to engage in deeper conversation around our total environmental footprint and how our customers can play a role in driving that impact down by “voting” with their dollar. 

Addressing end-of-life specifically, and how we should think about brands’ “responsibility,” it’s no longer acceptable for the business community to simply accept a lack of recycling infrastructure in the communities where they operate or assume that we have no influence in driving development of that infrastructure to move our single serve packaging out of the landfill pipeline. We know the necessary pieces in solving the infrastructure puzzle, including market development, material optimization, creating material scale for recyclers to invest in their capacities, along with local policies that catalyze the factors and drive consumer behaviors. But, frankly, we don’t tap into the power we have as a business community to proactively impact local environmental policy.

 

Sure, we are great at playing defense and activating our trade associations to (rightly) oppose material bans or Draconian fees on packaging. But we’ve never been effective at sitting down with local lawmakers ahead of time to hash out good policy that drives infrastructure development and acceptance of our products into recycling streams, leaving us vulnerable to bans, fees, extended producer responsibility (EPR) and other last-resort policies to divert our products from landfills. We need to take a second look at our engagement strategies as an industry.

For example, I can’t tell you how many cities I’ve gone to that, when I walk in their doors, they weren’t accepting Starbucks cups into the recycling system at either the commercial or residential level. By educating and helping policy makers understand that our business goals actually aligned with the city’s/county’s environmental goals, and by aligning all of the players within the local recycling “system” we’ve been able to break through those barriers in a number of cities and get our cups accepted. What we can’t do is sit on the sideline and just throw up our hands and say “The infrastructure or the markets don’t exist”—because it’s our job to make sure that, if they don’t exist, we do everything we can to drive those markets. 

That was a longwinded answer to how packaging can demonstrate brands’ environmental leadership, but that’s really one of our commitments here at Starbucks: To lead the initiative to ensure that our packaging, and our industry’s packaging, is able to reduce its environmental footprint in every way from cradle, to use, to end of life.

 

Q: How does Starbucks balance the need for packaging that’s eco-responsible with packaging that fulfills the consumer’s desire for convenience? 


Hanna:
We try to take a holistic approach to our packaging in a way that, rather than focusing on the packaging, it focuses on the needs. Starbucks’ need is to deliver the best cup of coffee we can to our customers in a way that creates brand connection and elevates the experience for our customers every day beyond what our competitors can do. 

We’ve taken the approach of focusing on our packaging goals from a broader perspective of how to deliver this great cup of coffee to our customers in a way that reduces our environmental footprint while enhancing (or at least maintaining) their experience. 

We have a three-pronged approach at Starbucks. 

Number one is—and this may not sound too exciting to the folks in the single-serve packaging industry—we’re trying to get our customers to use fewer of our paper and plastic cups. We have a program to incentivize people to bring their own reusable cups into our stores. When they do that, we’ll wash it for them and prepare their beverage in those cups, whether it’s a tumbler or a travel mug and we’ll give the customers a discount for their efforts. We have a target at Starbucks that, by 2015, 5 percent of all of our transactions occur with customers who bring in their own reusable mugs.

Unfortunately, we’ve hovered around 2 percent since the inception of the incentive program. The numbers dance around that a bit, but that’s been where we’ve been locked in for years. What we discovered is that the discount we offer is great, but it’s only a driver for a limited number of consumers. Most consumers are bringing in their own mugs because they simply enjoy the beverage that way or they have their own sense of environmental consciousness and this is how they’re doing their part every day to reduce their environmental footprint, regardless of whether or not they get a discount. 

It’s also a convenience issue, as carrying around a big bulky mug that may or may not be clean or may have been sitting in your car for a week, often negatively impact people’s ability or choice to bring in their own reusable mugs. 

In January 2013, we introduced a new concept. It’s a $1 reusable mug that’s made out of 100 percent polypropylene, the lid and the cup. The cool thing is the convenience factor is solved and the cost factor is solved because it’s only a buck, instead of our standard price between $10 and $18 for our mugs. It looks and feels like our existing paper cup, maintaining the brand attachment and Starbucks experience. For folks who were previously comfortable with our single-serve cups, this gives them an option for a reusable cup. And, because it’s only a buck, if you forget it at home or in your car or office, you can buy another one. After the introduction of the $1 reusable cup, we saw a significant bump in the purchase of reusables overall. But, more importantly, we also saw a marked increase in the number of people bringing their mugs back into the store to be reused.

Number two is encouraging our store managers to learn which customers typically enjoy their beverages in the stores and serve them in ceramic mugs, again, to reduce the use of single-serve packaging. You’d be surprised at how many customers don’t even know that we offer ceramic mugs in our stores. 

Number 3 is, for customers who choose to use single-serve cups, how do we do that in a way that provides that great Starbucks experience they’ve come to expect, delivers their beverage safely and conveniently every time, and has the lowest environmental footprint. 

That’s where we can really look at materials innovations, such as the post-consumer fiber we already use, innovation in coatings on the paper to impact recyclability and industry-wide material standardization to create scale for recyclers. Finally, when I talk about our 2015 goal of declaring our cups recyclable, what I’m talking about is access to recycling. The industry often defines recyclability or compostability based on the materials of our packaging, when we should be defining it based on access that our customers have to recycling or composting services. This isn’t Jim Hanna making up his own definitions. It’s the Federal Trade Commission’s Green Guide that defines recyclability in that way and that’s the definition we use for our target.

For Starbucks, we define recyclability as follows: When our customer chooses to dispose of their cups—whether it’s in our stores, in their homes, in their offices or in a public space, if they don’t have access to recycling at that point, then the cups aren’t recyclable. They’re going to go into a landfill. That’s what we’re focusing on—building those infrastructures for recycling and end of life so that, hopefully, by 2015 we can actually cross the Federal Trade Commission’s 60 percent access threshold and declare victory.

 

Q: How do your packaging designs used in the foodservice environment at the point of consumption differ from some of those used in your retail products and why?


Hanna:
They don’t—and that’s a good thing. We take a holistic approach to packaging design whether it’s for retail stores or in our foodservice operations. 

We also look at our transport packaging, the movement of packaging from our distribution centers into our stores or the packaging that comes directly into the stores. We have significant focus on our supply chain to be able to help them minimize over packaging—which has been a pet peeve of our store partners (employees). Nothing galls them more than to get a small delivery in a big box. We know that cubing efficiency and standardization of packaging sizes is essential for efficient transportation, but we know there’s a significant footprint associated with transportation that can be significantly reduced if done right. 

We’ve been making significant progress in balancing efficient transportation with minimization of packaging, while balancing the need to maintain integrity of the items being transported. This includes introduction of durable, reusable transport packaging across our distribution network. While we’ve made huge progress, other retailers out there live and breathe this stuff, especially the ones that own their entire distribution systems, and have had significantly more leadership in this area that we can learn from.

We want to be game changers in the industry. But we’re also willing to follow game changers in areas where they either have more influence, more exposure to the issue or a greater ability to be those game changers. That’s one exciting culture of our company: We put a stake in the ground where we think we can change the world. We also know that there are many other companies who can do the same thing and we’re glad to follow them.

.







RSS

Reprints/License

Print

Email





    We would love your feedback!

Post a comment






No related content found.





»MORE











Canon Resource Center






Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/article/523500-Packaging_is_the_gateway_to_a_deeper_conversation_about_sustainability.php?rssid=20538

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Reduce Your Company?s Carbon Footprint and Save Money

Reduce Your Company?s Carbon Footprint and Save Money

The environmental cost of commerce has become an important part of business in America and the world as we all become increasingly aware and concerned about the impact of our actions on climate change and our environment.  Many businesses are creating sustainability plans, training environmental impact officers and implementing company wide recycling and reduction programs.

For many small and medium sized businesses, the option of hiring a college degreed sustainability officer and staff is really not in the budget. There are however new online training programs which cater to small and medium sized businesses such as CarbonProfessionalSchool.com But short of taking a course and becoming an expert, what can your business do to be environmentally responsible and reduce your carbon footprint…all while saving money.

Here are 5 ways to reduce your carbon footprint and save some money.

(1) Recycle Toner and Ink Jet Cartridges. These things, which always run out at the most inopportune time, cost way too much and, contrary to what the big companies than manufacture them proclaim with their “send it in recycling programs” – end up in the landfill, usually in the poorest areas of the world.  The technology and quality of recycled toner and ink jet cartridges in many cases surpasses the original equipment manufacturers…and you get to support a local business like yours when you patronize them.   And don’t forget to set your printers to “draft” mode when you’re not printing for official communications…it’ll save you money and toner/ink.

(2) Use Less and Buy Recycled Paper. Back in the early 90’s when email was gaining popularity we all proclaimed that it was the beginning of the paperless office.  But the paper companies weren’t scared. Paper sales went through the roof because now we had more information to print out, copy and share with each other. Now there are a variety of document sharing services, including free ones like Google Docs, while allow immediate sharing of and collaboration of documents without having to print out 5 copies for the group to mark up.  It saves money, time and is much more efficient.

Furthermore, as the quality of recycled content paper has gone up to photo quality level and the cost has gone down to below the cost of “new” paper, it clearly makes no sense not to include the procurement of recycled printer and copier paper in your corporate sustainability plan.

(3) Go Paperless with your invoices. PayPal and Google Checkout both have electronic invoicing capabilities for those of you who process payments via credit card, and for many companies, their PayPal and Google Checkout accounts are tied directly to their corporate checking accounts for seemless, and transaction fee free payment processing.  They both offer a variety of export formats and integrate with popular accounting packages like QuickBooks and Microsoft Accounting.  

No more 3 copy carbon based invoices, no gas guzzling postmen delivering the mail and no more licking envelopes!

(4) Recycle Everything. Soda cans, newspapers, used equipment, furniture and materials (if you’re manufacturing things) all carry a price.  Aluminum cans trade for around $ .80 a pound (32 12 ounce cans = 1 pound) – so figure you can sell them to a local recycler for a bit better than half of that.  Doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you have an office full of Red Bull crazed employees or “Diet Coke Fiends” it can actually add up relatively quickly.   

List your used equipment on Craigslist or Google for a local company that will pick up and “recycle” your used equipment – or better yet, donate it to a local charity and take the tax deduction.  Goodwill and the Salvation Army will send out a truck to pick up larger items and most likely make weekly or monthly trips through your area.

(5) Offset Your Carbon Footprint with Carbon Credits

While Reducing, Reusing and Recycling is key in preventing climate change, offsetting your carbon emissions is the next great step in the preservation of our environment for generations to come. The Carbon Calculator Math is below, or you could use a Carbon Footprint Calculator at ecoaidnow.com/Calculators.aspx

To offset your carbon emissions simply means to neutralize your part in the polluting of our environment. In technical terms, a carbon offset is a certificate representing the reduction of one metric ton (2,205 lbs) of carbon dioxide emissions.

Certified Projects are developed such as a reforestation project that reduces carbon dioxide emissions, every ton of emissions reduced will result in the creation of one certified carbon offset (ecoaidnow.com)

Since carbon dioxide emissions are the principal cause of climate change, purchasing carbon offsets is key to promoting a greener environment.

When you offset your personal carbon emissions, you are doing your much-needed part in helping to put an end to global warming and climate change. In addition to making the world a better place, you just might also score a few popularity points with your friends and family.

Going Green at work doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to build a new building out of used tires, or procure all new energy saving computer and office equipment.  It is possible to work towards carbon neutrality without breaking the bank, and then supplement your efforts with cost-effective carbon credits.

Dr. Ken Pollock is EcoAid’s Chief Executive Officer, sets the strategy for the company. www.ecoaidnow.com. Read more of his articles at www.buycarboncreditsandoffsets.com. In addition, he will be launching http://carbonprofessionalschool.com in the near future to provide the training and tools for individuals, businesses and institutions. He has a PhD in Chemical Engineering.

Article from articlesbase.com

Related Blogs

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How To Travel Responsibly

How To Travel Responsibly

Responsible travel is a broad term but in essence, travelling responsibly means treating people in other countries with the same respect you would expect from others in your own community or country. The responsible traveller is interested in preserving cultures, communities, local way of life, wildlife, habitats and the environment as a whole in every region he or she travels to.

So how can someone interested in responsible travel help to minimise their travel footprint and help sustain local communities and environments? There are a number of steps an individual can take in this ever changing world where mass tourism has had such a destructive effect on the environment. One of the biggest concerns at present is carbon dioxide emissions and green house gases in general. By reducing the number of flights or taking alternative transport wherever possible, carbon emissions from planes can be reduced which will benefit your own community as well as others as there are no country boundaries where pollution is concerned.

Even before arriving at your destination, it is always advisable to research the area to gain a greater understanding of the local culture and customs through the internet, books, email or by phoning. Try to find hotels, businesses and schemes which are eco friendly. Also, by learning a few words of the local language or by using a phrase book, it will be easier to immerse yourself in the local culture and have a deeper experience than travelling with hordes of people from your own country.

Once you arrive at your destination, keep an open mind and try to experience the local culture without making comparisons with life back at home. Use local resources with care such as water and electricity which are in short supply in many regions of the world. Simple steps like switching off the tap while brushing your teeth or taking a shower instead of a bath can help save water. Switching off lights, mobile phone chargers, televisions and a whole host of modern electronic equipment can save electricity.

Respect the local culture and always obey the local laws even if you disagree with some of them. Follow dress codes to avoid offence and avoid the temptation to drink and drive just because you are on holiday. Never accept packages from strangers or recent acquaintances especially if you about to travel through an airport. Obeying local laws and customs on drinking and taking drugs is especially important as many travellers are tempted to drink heavily while on holiday causing havoc in the local community.

Many people want to support the local community by purchasing local produce and products and while this is beneficial in most cases, it’s essential to avoid purchasing animal skins or products produced from the slaughter of endangered species such as tigers, leopards, jaguars, elephants, rhinos, hippos, reptiles, birds and many other animals. The same applies to protected plant species. Many countries now have severe penalties for anyone importing illegal plants or animals. Whenever possible, buy locally grown produce and crafts from local family businesses or fair trade companies.

To minimise pollution and to have a better experience of the local community, walk or ride a bicycle whenever possible. Support the local infrastructure by using local buses and taxis. Use trains or boats instead of planes for longer journeys to minimise carbon emissions.

Finally, volunteering is a great way to give something back to the environment and help local communities through various educational and non-profit schemes. The benefits are not all one way as many volunteers gain new skills, achieve a better understanding of themselves, gain added confidence through social interaction and gain a greater sense of self-worth through helping others.

By travelling responsibly, you are more likely to have a richer more immersive experience with the knowledge that you have minimised your impact on the environment and in some cases, helped to improve some areas. With more communities and environments being threatened with pollution and extinction, to travel responsibly is not only essential but it may help to form part of the solution in preserving environments and wildlife for future generations.

Lalit Rastogi is editor of First Gap Year Travel & Best Travel Digital Camera sites. He has a background in photography, IT & travel. He completed his first gap year in 2003 and 2004.

Article from articlesbase.com

Innovative Plastics….a leader in Post Consumer Packaging for five decades, is proud to announce a new addition to our impressive line-up of thermoform & packaging technologies. The InViroPak….an Innovative ecological alternative….Because it’s Time!
Video Rating: 0 / 5

Find More Green Sustainable Packaging Articles

Related Blogs

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Organic Abundance – Beauty With a Conscience

Organic Abundance – Beauty With a Conscience

You know how it is, you see that something is organic and you are drawn to it, it’s just a nice feeling knowing that it is real, not tampered with. Then when you use it, comes the knowledge that you’ve done something true and right ~ and goodness only knows in this day and age ~ we all need to feel that from time to time.

There is the cautionary tale of course, that the term can and is frequently used , loosely, by manufacturers and the like, to lure people into buying goods that are not in fact truly organic, but rest assured there is organic treasure out there, it’s just a case of knowing where to look.

My quest was to find skin care that happily, beautifully and reasonably~ (I had to stay in harmony with my bank manager as well as nature!)~ reduced my biological footprint on this planet, and so with a number of key questions in the blueprint, the research began.

What defines Organic? 70% organic products, which are produced under very strict guidelines, are the minimum count that you should accept. Better to seek out 95% organic content, which is then categorized as Certified Organic, and give yourself not only peace of mind, but the maximum benefits.

Is Natural the same thing? No, it really isn’t. An item can be labelled as natural, which might mean it is processed as little as possible, but can also mean it’s been heavily processed. What it does not mean is that it has been organically grown. There is no official regulation in place for use of the term ‘natural’.

Will labels confuse me? You bet they will! The whole labelling law thing needs a major overhaul ~ manufacturers only need use one organic ingredient to be able to boast that term, and then they can pop whatever else they want in there ~ often to the detriment of our precious skin. The average person uses around 9 different care products each day ~ as you step into your shower, start counting…, then sit on the end of your bed, and read those labels. It will come as no surprise now, when I reveal that you have rubbed, smoothed and slathered a potential 126 toxic chemicals into your body.

What benefits should I be looking for? Well we all want the very best for ourselves, and when you consider that our skin is the largest organ we possess, absorbing all we put on it, then it really makes sense that what we choose is as natural and nourishing as possible. Why subject our skin to harmful toxins, when Mother Nature can provide us with a pure alternative?

Does Organic really equal ‘Green’? Undoubtedly! We are all aware now of the impact and responsibility we have for our world. At last an ethical approach is permeating our consciousness, and consumer demand for organic industry is steadily rising as we realise we are part of a Global community, who need to put the Earth first.

My search for true organic products had to include issues such as sustainable agriculture, the guarantee that damage to the environment had not occurred with the poisonous chemicals used in conventional agriculture. I had to be sure that not only were the ingredients pure, the products free from synthetic preservatives, colours and fragrances but that any packaging may be recyclable or biodegradable.

After many weeks of reading, research, and dead ends, it was an unassuming handout on decorated card, included in the local school newsletter which would provide answers, solutions and the path to a cornucopia of authentic organic body care. This line of certified organics embraced the bounty of nature and was as gentle on my purse as it was on my skin! This range was so safe and pure that apparently, should the urge take you, you could eat it! My sceptical heart was stirred and I decided to investigate.

The handout had taken the form of an invite. There was a promise of an aromatic cup of (organic!) coffee, an explanation and showing of wonderful certified organic products, along with a bit of a social get together. I was ready to experience what sounded like a decidedly agreeable and comfortable method of reviewing this range. So on a sunny Saturday morning, in a pretty suburban cul de sac, I rang the bell of an unpretentious house and was warmly greeted by Stephanie. The coffee smelt great ~ and it wasn’t long before we were having a good chat about the skin care products, which were invitingly arranged on a big table, lids off, readily pokeable and slatherable! The camaraderie that comes when a few people get together with the same aim makes for such an easy atmosphere and Stephanie was a mine of information about the goodies tempting us. It was instantly apparent that these were beautiful preparations soft, genuinely natural and containing 100% organic ingredients. The claim that they were as safe as to be edible, was absolutely true, and whilst certain shampoos, lotions, and lip balms did smell good enough to eat, everyone was too busy pampering themselves to test the theory!

So far, the claims, the products and the prices were all adding up, and I had gathered a small arsenal of lotions and potions not only for myself, but for my husband and my dedicated organic seeking daughters! But I needed to find out about the company who provided the umbrella for this plethora of nature’s offerings. There were still questions that had to be asked to convince me that this was the end of my search. Hopefully Stephanie would come through for me, because I can tell you now, I was more than eager to get these babies paid for, get them home and get them working! Ten minutes, and a potted history later about a visionary company that cares for the environment and me, I was satisfied, and happily stashing my haul into the boot of my car.

With a wave and a smile Stephanie saw me off, and I drove home with my harvest, eager to share the good news with my family. I chuckled to myself at her last words, which unwittingly underscored my original criteria:- ‘Don’t forget to throw the packaging on the garden and water it ~ it’s not just bio degradable ~ it’s compostable!’ Mission Accomplished.

Written for Stephanie Hopkins. Independent Representative for ONE Group
http://www.origanon.com
http://www.origanon.miorganicfuture.com

Article from articlesbase.com

More Green Sustainable Packaging Articles

Related Blogs

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Difference between a Bottled and Mains Fed Water Dispenser

The Difference between a Bottled and Mains Fed Water Dispenser

The main difference is the way water is delivered to the Water Dispenser.

Bottled Water Dispensers need:

– Water supplied from large plastic bottles, holding around 19 litres of water, installed on the top of the dispenser

– Some storage space nearby to hold a stock of bottles to prevent water running out

– Someone to change the water bottle when it becomes empty (when full they are heavy and awkward to move)

– Someone to make sure replacement bottles are ordered when stock runs low

– Connection to mains electricity if water is to be chilled

– Sanitising to ensure contamination through handling is kept at acceptable levels

In summary, Bottled Water Dispensers are convenient as they can be sited almost anywhere. The only restriction on location being access to mains power if the water is to be chilled. However, they need frequent attention by someone in the office or workplace to make sure the supply of water never runs out. Also the bottles (empty or full) take up valuable office space. The total footprint of the dispenser plus a sensible supply of bottles needs to be taken into account in any cost of ownership calculation.

The bottles, when full, weigh around 20kg, or 44lbs, so there is a Health and Safety risk whenever they need to be exchanged or moved around the office. The Health and Safety Executive General Risk Assessment Guidelines suggest that this weight should not be lifted above waist height by men; and not at all by women.

Mains-Fed Water Dispensers need:

– Connection to mains cold water – this is usually part of the installation process.
– There is no need to site the dispenser close to existing copper pipe as the connection is usually made using “food-grade” plastic pipe which can be run unobtrusively over quite large distances.
– Connection to mains power, for chilling and/or heating the water at the point of use.
– Sanitisation of the internal components regularly and effectively.

Since there are no bottles the total footprint is much smaller as there are no bottles to store nearby. This also means there are no heavy weights to carry or empty bottles to dispose of. Once installed there is no other administrative overhead in terms of managing supplies or reordering, or in time spent changing empty bottles for full ones.

These are the main reasons we only supply Mains-Fed Water Dispensers for either chilled, ambient or hot water. There are others so see below in a later section on Ten Reasons why your office needs a Mains-Fed Water Dispenser.

Chris Wills is the Sales Director for Freshwater Coolers PLC. http://www.freshwatercoolers.com is one of the UK’s largest suppliers for a hot or cold water dispenser, supplying and maintaining high quality equipment for the workplace. Our main philosophy is to provide a service which consistently exceeds customers’ expectations.

Call 0800 169 4008 or Click this Link http://www.bestwaterdispenser.co.uk to Download our Water Dispenser Buyer’s Guide” This Free Guide will help you make the correct choice when buying a Water Cooler or Hot Water Dispenser. Packed full of tips and advice to save you money!

Article from articlesbase.com

www.ocme.it Altair N60 wraparound packer running at 60 packs per minute. Equipped with extra blank magazine for higher autonomy.

Related Blogs

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Carbon Footprint: How Creating a Sustainable Business Makes You Money

Carbon Footprint: How Creating a Sustainable Business Makes You Money

You don’t have to wait for “Cap and Trade” to pass the US Congress to embrace carbon neutrality. Carbon Credits are a responsible and cost effective way to not only help produce non-oil energy projects, but reduce your corporate costs, engage your employees and gain a Green Marketing advantage over your competitors.

Reduce, Recycle and Reuse are the first part, and below I’m going to give you 5 ways to do it. But if you can’t, don’t want to, or would rather just write a check then understand Carbon Credits.

Offset Your Carbon Footprint with Carbon Credits

While Reducing, Reusing and Recycling is key in preventing climate change, offsetting your carbon emissions is the next great step in the preservation of our environment for generations to come. The Carbon Calculator Math is below, or you could use a Carbon Footprint Calculator at (www.ecoaidnow.com/Calculators.aspx

To offset your carbon emissions simply means to neutralize your part in the polluting of our environment. In technical terms, a carbon offset is a certificate representing the reduction of one metric ton (2,205 lbs) of carbon dioxide emissions.

Certified Projects are developed such as a reforestation project that reduces carbon dioxide emissions, every ton of emissions reduced will result in the creation of one certified carbon offset.   

Since carbon dioxide emissions are the principal cause of climate change, purchasing carbon offsets is key to promoting a greener environment.

When you offset your personal carbon emissions, you are doing your much-needed part in helping to put an end to global warming and climate change. In addition to making the world a better place, you just might also score a few popularity points with your friends and family.   

Here’s 4 ways to save money while reducing your carbon footprint.

(1) Recycle Toner and Ink Jet Cartridges.  These things, which always run out at the most inopportune time, cost way too much and, contrary to what the big companies than manufacture them proclaim with their “send it in recycling programs” – end up in the landfill, usually in the poorest areas of the world.  The technology and quality of recycled toner and ink jet cartridges in many cases surpasses the original equipment manufacturers…and you get to support a local business like yours when you patronize them.   And don’t forget to set your printers to “draft” mode when you’re not printing for official communications…it’ll save you money and toner/ink.

(2) Use Less and Buy Recycled Paper.  Back in the early 90’s when email was gaining popularity we all proclaimed that it was the beginning of the paperless office.  But the paper companies weren’t scared.  Paper sales went through the roof because now we had more information to print out, copy and share with each other.   Now there are a variety of document sharing services, including free ones like Google Docs, while allow immediate sharing of and collaboration of documents without having to print out 5 copies for the group to mark up.  It saves money, time and is much more efficient.

Furthermore, as the quality of recycled content paper has gone up to photo quality level and the cost has gone down to below the cost of “new” paper, it clearly makes no sense not to include the procurement of recycled printer and copier paper in your corporate sustainability plan.

(3)    Go Paperless with your invoices. PayPal and Google Checkout both have electronic invoicing capabilities for those of you who process payments via credit card, and for many companies, their PayPal and Google Checkout accounts are tied directly to their corporate checking accounts for seemless, and transaction fee free payment processing.  They both offer a variety of export formats and integrate with popular accounting packages like QuickBooks and Microsoft Accounting.  

No more 3 copy carbon based invoices, no gas guzzling postmen delivering the mail and no more licking envelopes!

(4)     Recycle Everything. Soda cans, newspapers, used equipment, furniture and materials (if you’re manufacturing things) all carry a price.  Aluminum cans trade for around $ .80 a pound (32 12 ounce cans = 1 pound) – so figure you can sell them to a local recycler for a bit better than half of that.  Doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you have an office full of Red Bull crazed employees or “Diet Coke Fiends” it can actually add up relatively quickly.   

List your used equipment on Craigslist or Google for a local company that will pick up and “recycle” your used equipment – or better yet, donate it to a local charity and take the tax deduction.  Goodwill and the Salvation Army will send out a truck to pick up larger items and most likely make weekly or monthly trips through your area.

The Challenge is not so much Global Climate Change, but more of a personal one. Do we want to live in a clean world or a dirty one!  Do we want to be subject to wars over fossil fuels?  Are we, as individuals, stewards of business, operators of government, and elected officials, willing to take action to right the environmental wrongs we might create?  The global becomes personal.

Buying Carbon Offsets is one way to deploy our resources towards a better Future. The best first step is to always think about the very real consequences of your actions.  Protecting our air and water isn’t something that can be taken care of by someone else, we have to do it for ourselves.

To take an active role in neutralizing your carbon emissions today use our individual carbon calculator (www.ecoaidnow.com/Calculators.aspx).

Dr. Ken Pollock is EcoAid’s Chief Executive Officer, sets the strategy for the company. www.ecoaidnow.com Read more of his articles at http://buycarboncreditsandoffsets.com. In addition, he recently launched http://carbonprofessionalschool.com in the near future to provide the training and tools for individuals, businesses and institutions.

Article from articlesbase.com

Related Blogs

    Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

    How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

    It’s a fact: the environment is in dire need of attention, and it has never been more important for people to do their part in reducing and offsetting their carbon footprint. Of course, many individuals – as well as groups – have long been working hard in favour of environmental issues. But many more can get involved, taking simple steps at home to make a difference.

    However, there’s one common hurdle. Many people are daunted by the idea of making a difference for the environment. After all, many environmental issues are massive, and a lot of people wonder how they can make a difference. But the reality of the issue is that if everybody did their part – however small their actions might seem – they would collectively make a difference. So, the first step is to know that each individual can positively impact the environment by making a few changes.

    The next step is to identify and implement measures to help the environment – and a great place to start is in your own home. One action you can take is to save resources such as energy.

    Begin by ensuring your home is well-insulated. Place a jacket on your hot water tank, insulate your loft, and make sure all your wall cavities are filled. You can also eliminate draughts by installing a seal on your exterior doors, letterboxes, and gaps in floorboards.

    Next, switch to energy-saving light bulbs, which produce less CO2 and save a significant amount of electricity. And finally, ensure you switch off all lights and electrical items when not in use. An estimated £140 million a year is wasted in leaving lights on in unused rooms, so everyone can make a difference by turning lights off.

    You should also avoid leaving electrical items on standby. Leaving items plugged in and turned on means they’re still using energy – £800 million of which is wasted each year through standby electrical items. So unplug such items or turn them off at the mains to save energy and money. Many energy suppliers also offer tips on how to save electricity, helping their clients save money and make a difference for the environment.

    Next, you’ll want to take some steps to save water in your home. You can do this by choosing a water-efficient dishwasher or washing machine, and by fitting a flow regulator or aerated shower head in the bathroom. You should also fill your kettle only with the water you’ll need, turn off the tap when brushing your teeth, and take shorter showers. In the garden, it helps to use a watering can or a bucket rather than a hosepipe. Finally, ensure all dripping taps are fixed and, if possible, install a leak detector.

    Of course, recycling is another big step you can take. But before you throw something into the recycling bin, consider whether you can re-use it for something else. Whether it’s a glass jar, an unwanted toy, or a broken appliance, there’s usually something you can do with such items instead of simply throwing them out or placing them into the recycling bin. Many charities will take used clothes, unwanted toys, and even appliances for repair; and many plastic and glass containers can be re-used around the house.

    Finally, consider growing your own fruit and vegetables, as well as starting a compost pile. Keeping a fruit and vegetable garden is a fun way for you to cut your carbon footprint, as it eliminates the energy required to transport such goods otherwise. What’s more, keeping a compost pile at home means you’ll have free compost at hand to tend to your garden. Over 30 per cent of an average household bin can be composted – so imagine how much less rubbish you’ll send to the landfill simply by starting a compost pile. Don’t have a garden at home? Many towns and cities have a community garden scheme – so it’s worth enquiring about where you can start your garden.

    Ultimately, there are many ways individuals and families can positively impact the environment – right from home.

    Adam Singleton writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.

    Article from articlesbase.com

    Don’t throw away packaging, such as plastic tubs or jars, coffee cans and bags…re-use them for other purposes instead of recycling, re-purpose items – Captured Live on ustream www.twigsnapbuttcrack.com
    Video Rating: 5 / 5

    Related Blogs

    Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Environmentally Responsible Packaging – is it possible?

    Environmentally Responsible Packaging – is it possible?

    Environmentally-Responsible Packaging – Is This Possible?

    Are you looking for the right material to package your product at the lowest possible cost to the environment? Metal tins could be the answer – and they offer innovative, effective branding for your product, too. This article explores issues surrounding the challenge of balancing successful product packaging with environmentally responsible materials, and the benefits of using materials such as tin in this process.

    Whether we consider multi-media packaging, food containers or giftware packaging, it’s immediately clear that products are frequently packaged using materials such as plastic or cardboard. Getting the design and manufacture of product packaging right is often integral to the success of a product in the consumer market.  However, the pressure to achieve this whilst using a material that is environmentally responsible, recyclable and reusable has increased, in the last ten years particularly with the ‘green consumerism’ boom.  Many products in the UK are packaged in plastic or Tetra-Pak, which are very difficult to recycle because of their mixed components and chemical composition; Waste Watch, the environmental charity, has called for companies to consider moving away from these packaging choices due to their detrimental impact on the environment.

    In the sustainability-focused manufacturing centres of the 21st century, the entire ‘footprint’ of product packaging is now considered for its environmental impact, including:

    the life-cycle of the packaging
    recyclability of the packaging
    reusability of the packaging
    the overall impact of the product on the environment.

    So what packaging materials are the most environmentally friendly, all things considered?

    The most cost-efficient, environmentally responsible and effective materials to use in product packaging are primary products, according to Waste Watch. Primary products such as metals are highly recyclable and reusable due to their intrinsic chemical properties as well as their economic value, and this reuse can take place with little or no loss of quality.  The Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association in the UK notes that metal is the most easily sorted material at waste centres; and cheaply and effectively recycled into new products. In the UK, over 57% of cans are recycled; and tin and metal itself is 100% recyclable.

    Tin packaging, therefore, offers an ideal solution for the manufacturer who is conscious of their responsibility to reduce waste, without wanting to compromise on appearance or functionality. Metal packaging is not only highly protective but gives products extra prestige and an ‘edge’, tins not only look special on the shelf, but metal packaged products often command a higher price. Tin boxes, particularly bespoke promotional tins, enhance brand value, whilst ensuring the environmental footprint of the product’s packaging is kept to a minimum.

    Confectionary tins and cosmetic tins are examples of how tin can be used to enhance and add value to a product’s utility and appearance. Metal tins, since they are attractive, are much more likely to be kept and re-used, thereby reducing the waste which packaging would otherwise create. This means the brand image on the metal tin will also gain much more exposure for your product. Tin boxes are also a sound packaging solution for a wide range of food products including coffee, tea and cake, because of their durability, and their robustness. Metal packaging makes a product stand out and is environmentally responsible and extremely versatile.

    The use of metal cases or tin containers in packaging a product can be successful in both design and manufacturing terms while also satisfying the growing demand for the use of environmentally responsible materials when it comes to the crucial marketing process of product packaging. So when you’re thinking about the packaging of your product, consider the life-cycle of the packaging; the sustainable and quality choice for packaging your product may well be metal.

     

     

     

    Rob Christmas has been working in the tinplate industry for over 30 years and is now Managing Director of Tinplate Products Ltd. Founded in 1990, Tinplate Products is a UK company specialising in the production, design and delivery of tin packaging. The company is now recognized as the market leader for DVD, CD and other multi-media packaging in metal. Their innovative designs have won multiple industry awards.

    More Packaging Articles

    Related Blogs

    Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,