With a great recession fueling our current financial obsession, the only green that is getting any attention right now is that in our pockets, and rightfully so. So, to restart the dialogue, I created the “Eco-insights to Display…at the Water Cooler this Earth Day!” It’s a slew of tips, insights and resources that have been gracefully shared with me. I thought I’d pass them on to help you be the green lantern of eco-information at the break room this Earth Day.
Turn Trash into Cash! Terracycle is Doing Just That.
They will pay you for your used soda bottles, candy wrappers and juice bags. They then reuse the items to create tote bags, backpacks and clothing that showcase the original packaging artwork. Terracycle CEO, Tom Szaky, is working towards a future where we get paid for our trash. Packrats of the world—rejoice!
Nike Has “Considered” Their Position.
This spring, Nike will release the NIKE Considered Design line. This line will reduce the amount of waste created and eliminate toxins used in the lines production. The Considered Design line uses environmentally preferred materials while delivering the same innovation and performance customers expect from Nike. Last fall at Opportunity Green, Considered Design Director of Category Integration (yes, that’s her full title) Jane Savage, commented that his airness himself was impressed with the prototypes. He has requested all new Air Jordan shoes to be created within the “Considered” line.
Sow Many Seeds.
OZOlab, the self proclaimed champion of easy sustainable living, is proving that there are many green pastures to explore and innovate. They created OZOcar, the world’s first hybrid car service. OZOlife, called the MTV of sustainability, is an online magazine to keep you up to date on the latest trends, fashion and need to know tid bits. OZOhome is a line of zero toxin and zero waste products. Lastly, OZOwater is an innovative filtered water solution aimed to be the #1 alternative to bottled water. They are calling this the “ipod of hydration.”
Be an Open Source…of Information.
Brands and companies that are leaders in sustainability, like Patagonia; which lets the entire planet view their environmental impact; have become examples and influences for both consumers and competitors. You can start to uncover your tracks at OpenEco.org. Sponsored by Sun Microsystems (or Oracle), OpenEco.org gives participants open source online tools to track energy performance, carbon tracking and share best practices with other users.
Adapt or Contract.
Companies and Brands must begin to adapt to meet their consumers paradigm shift. As consumers become better educated, the brands and business’s that have not adapted risk seeing their current customers drop off.
Fill the information gap.
Business’ and brands have an opportunity to reach their customers by educating them on how certain products or services are better for the environment. Recent trends illustrate the mind set of the average consumer in 2006 was: “don’t sell me anything.” However, despite the recent economy, that has started to sway to: “tell me what I should buy.” Consumers want to buy products and services that are better for the environment but are still not completely sure how or where to get them—but they will soon.
- Look to connect.
- Don’t want to brave it alone? Well, there are crops of new online social networks and in person networking events to check out. At least two new ones have emerged since you opened this email.
- Green Drinks // Green Drinks International is an informal meet up for those working or interested in the environmental field. 456 countries worldwide have active groups that come together over an informal drink to talk green.
- Greenopolis.com // For those who like to connect with a click of a mouse; Waste Management has sponsored greenopolis.com. They are hoping this will be the myspace of sustainability.
- EcoTuesday.com // For web-savvy people-magnets who love both face time as well as Facebook to connect—this is your place. EcoTuesday.com, the sustainable business leaders networking forum, is both a monthly meet up and a social network site.
- Other places to visit:
- Lowimpactliving.com // This website is a bountiful harvest of information. There are impact calculators to see your problem areas. Also, there are tips and suggestions for those tackling home improvement projects. In addition the products and service section offers reviews and links to some of the best environmentally friendly products and services (I found the amazing “Evolve” shower head here).
- EcoFabulous.com // For those who want to save the planet in style, this website is for you. Find eco-conscious fashion, lifestyle and home tid bits at what they call the “online destination for sexy, sustainable style.”
- Ecofoot.org // Overwhelmed and need someplace to start? There are many very in-depth lifestyle surveys you can take to get a grasp on where you may be doing some serious eco-damage. Created by the Global Footprint Network, eocfoot.org has a simple online survey you can take to get you a good general starting point.
- Cosmetic Database Link // Everyday, we spray, brush, splish, splash and take a bath in chemicals that have been found to be harmful to our health. Find out how your favorite body spray or toothpaste rates at www.cosmeticsdatabase.com
- Grist.org // All this stuff can get a bit heavy. In this time of fear and loathing in lost wages, we need something to help balance out the gloom with some humor. Grist.org combines environmental news and humor. Find out about the water crisis and PETA’s new George Clooney flavored tofu.