Hands up those of you who recycle at home? Hands up who’s sustainable at work? Hands up who cares? Come on admit it. I bet my bottom dollar there are some of you who don’t.
Being green is a thankless, imperceptible and quite frankly a strenuous task. We are guilt-ridden as our children learn that, if their parents don’t take action now, the whole world will look like an apocalyptic landfill by the time their offspring inhabit the earth. I had a very stern talking to last week when I put a sweet wrapper in the wrong bin. Won’t be doing that again!
Even if we wanted to be greener doesn’t it take time, research and our hard earned cash to even make the smallest of changes in the workplace? For large corporations money isn’t so much of an issue and reputation is paramount for their success. But for the smaller organisations out there, without much spare cash about, without the resources to make these changes, it seems easier not to bother at all.
Shame on me. I’m sounding rather anti-green. Most unheard of. I’m not really though, I just get overwhelmed by it all and I’m little lost as to where to begin.
Unless you are a nihilist, deep down you know we should be doing something to help our planet. We spend enough time nurturing our own gardens, painting our walls in the latest Dulux trend and making sure our homes are nice and tidy because we want to live in a better environment. Our planet is no different to our homes. It is our home.
With that positive attitude sitting on my shoulders I thought it wise to take advantage of my new job at SM1 Print Studio, who in 2012 were runners up in the Best Green Business Awards, and pick my General Managers brains to find out about the recycled paper we use for our clients print marketing. “We don’t use recycled paper” he said. “We don’t?” I replied, thinking I really can’t be mouthing off about a greener planet when my own print company doesn’t use recycled paper. “But why?” I trembled, my February blog topic slipping away from me, “Why?”.
Half an hour later I learnt that recycled paper isn’t very environmentally friendly at all. Who’d have thought? Apparently, there is much debate about the energy spent in taking it to the recycled bin, driving it to the plant, the chemicals used to strip the ink, the squishing and the squashing back to paper shape then the redistribution.
“And ….” said my GM, “After all that messing about the print quality of the recycled paper is so bad I’d never use it for my clients unless they specifically asked for it. The best use for recycled paper is packaging or loo roll”.
He then explained that what people should be doing (I’m going to change that to could) is using managed crops for paper instead. So I took a look at the Forest Stewardship Council and found out they have a global system that allows consumers to identify, purchase and use timber and forest products produced from well-managed forests.
Looking out for the FSC logo allows you to make a decision on the products that you buy and be confident that they are sustainable plus you can do your bit to buy what you need without damaging woodlands and forests.
As SM1 Print was already using FSC products I was doing fabulous green direct mailings (see January’s Blog) and didn’t even know it. I was a very happy bunny.
So what next? What else can I do to get my ‘Green Marketing Activity Badge’? It’s all a little vague out there in the Googlesphere. What do you do for sustainable marketing? Do you even do? I’d be really interested in finding out.