Archive for November, 2008
GreenFactor, an ongoing global technology and environmental research initiative, finds that consumers are getting more savvy about green and are demanding that electronics brands provide more clear information about their products’ energy savings, as well as sustainable materials, and shipping and production methods. The GreenFactor survey was conducted by Strategic Oxygen and Cohn & Wolfe during Sept. and Oct. 2008. The primary findings of the survey of more than 10,000 adults in 12 major markets around the world include:
- “Saving energy” ranks first in importance to U.S. consumers considering green electronics (54 percent); “design” (5 percent) is near the bottom of the list of attributes and “image” (4 percent) is dead last.
- The number one barrier to green sales of consumer electronics in the U.S. is “lack of awareness” (53 percent) – that is, brands are not adequately educating consumers on the energy savings and other environmentally-friendly aspects of their products. The number two barrier to purchase is “price” (45 percent).
- Consumers say they rely heavily on information on a product’s “packaging” (33 percent), a “brand’s web site” (32 percent), and “independent brand comments online” (28 percent) rather than seeking green product input from “friends / peers” (13 percent).
- Consumers still are reticent to pay premiums for green gadgets: 57 percent say they do not expect to pay premiums and are not willing to pay. Only 15 percent of consumers say they are expecting premiums and are willing to pay.
“We’re seeing green trends globally, and it’s shocking how consistent consumer needs are worldwide for information about green electronics,” said Michael Gale, CEO of Strategic Oxygen. “There is a global green ethos emerging with global definitions for how consumers see green. This is one of the few worldwide trends Strategic Oxygen research reveals for marketing as a whole.”
Looking for the perfect green gift for new and expectant parents this holiday? Seventh Generation offers the Wee Generation Eco-Diaper Bag, directly benefiting eco-advocacy Healthy Child Healthy World. The recyclable Wee Generation Eco-Diaper Bag features PVC-free material made from recycled beverage bottles, is gender neutral for both mom and dad and has light-colored lining for easier visual cues, in addition to many other highly-functional qualities. Created for parents by parents, the bag was designed in collaboration with acclaimed green architect and visionary William McDonough, innovative design firm IDEO and Rickshaw Bagworks – a leading manufacturer and designer of sustainable urban bags. Available for purchase at www.weegeneration.com, the bag is priced at $200 with 100 percent of profits directly benefitting Healthy Child Healthy World’s mission to educate parents, support protective policies, and engage communities to make responsible decisions, simple everyday choices, and well-informed lifestyle improvements. The bag is also loaded with $100 worth of eco-friendly treats including Seventh Generation non-toxic, green home cleaning and baby product vouchers, a copy of the book Naturally Clean: The Seventh Generation Guide to Safe and Healthy Non-Toxic Cleaning, a Wee Generation baby T and healthy household tips from Healthy Child Healthy World (a total value of $300.) The bag is available only through 2008.
ecomii™, an independent ‘green’ lifestyle destination for consumers, has announced that ecomii has reached over 1 million consumers according to comScore’s October 2008 report. Among green lifestyle sites, ecomii ranked 3rd behind only Yahoo Green and MSN Green, respectively. Todd O’Donald, ecomii co-founder and managing director said, “ecomii brings an authoritative resource consumers can trust to help answer questions about how to lead a more environmental and health conscious lifestyle while being practical and mindful of cost. We are very pleased that our site is connecting with the needs of conscious consumers during these tumultuous times and our efforts have afforded us a position amongst comScore’s top green lifestyle destinations.” In related news, ecomii has added several new blogs for conscious consumers and eco-enthusiasts at www.ecomii.com/blogs. The new blogs present in-depth commentary and meaningful analysis from authoritative industry sources to help consumers make informed decisions. Highlighting underexposed ideas and research, ecomii blogs reflect current issues on the minds of consumers through in-depth commentary and meaningful analysis. The blogs are written by seasoned writers and provide an open forum for those who want to contribute to the discourse. The blogs include:
- ecomii Business Blog: follows the progress of change within the green economy and explores what others are saying about sustainable companies and green investment opportunities.
- ecomii Car Blog: offers the latest efficient car features and styles, the newest technologies leading auto innovation and the ability to share stories on how you can green your ride.
- ecomii Politics Blog: provides a forum where you can follow the status of green policies, the progress on green issues and the current impact on green lifestyles.
- ecomii Renewable Energy Blog: allows visitor’s to discover what renewable energy really means and how it will ease U.S. dependence on oil and fossil fuels.
- ecomii Simple Living Blog: shares insightful green ideas to help you lead a healthy lifestyle and exchange stories on creating and maintaining a non-toxic environment at home, work and play.
- ecomii Green Building Blog: follows the latest in green design, remodeling, building techniques, the newest products and where to buy them.
- ecomii Parenting Blog: provides easy ways to ‘parent green’, keep children entertained and active, plus ideas on how to raise your children in a healthier environment.
“We want everyone, from consumers who just started hearing the terms green and sustainable to those who simply seek a healthier lifestyle for their families, to find value in our comprehensive guides while fostering an inclusive sense of community and action,” O’Donald continued. “It’s important for ecomii to be a valuable tool, not only to those already working toward a greener future, but also to individuals who may not know why these topics matter. These blogs provide a context for that dialogue coupled with the resources to make informed decisions on living greener, one goal at a time.”
Jerry Brandenburg was always looking for new ways to save energy, but his latest product was actually created out of a need to keep himself on time. “I was late leaving the house because the clothes I wanted to wear were still drying in the dryer,” says Brandenburg. “That’s when I came up with the idea that if I added dry pants in with my wet clothes the water would have to find a medium between the wet and dry clothes—leaving the clothes I wanted less wet.” Sure enough, the process worked and Brandenburg soon created the DRYFAST Blanket. The outer material absorbs the moisture from the laundry while the inner material heats up by the heat of the dryer, drying the outer material. This newly discovered technology creates a 25% reduction in energy and time. But why a blanket? “I decided to develop the blanket so it looked like something that never left the dryer,” says Brandenburg. While the DRYFAST focus has been on reaching consumers, they recently signed an exclusive contract with Third Coast Partners to produce DRYFAST blankets for the commercial/industrial markets and recently participated in the International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show in New York. “We are always researching new ideas to make DRYFAST even more environmentally-friendly including looking at ways to manufacture it all from recycled materials,” says Brandenburg. “We are looking at ways to possibly add fabric softener to the middle of the blanket that would last through several uses as well as implant a chip into the blanket that could send a text message when your laundry is almost dry.” Brandenburg and his blanket will be participating in this year’s Good And Green™ Conference and will also be part of the New Product Showcase sponsored by Ingeo from NatureWorks LLC.
In early December, our friends Molly and Carly Houlahan, the teenage entrepreneurs who created Hives For Lives, a non-profit honey business, will travel to NYC to accept an award as two of eight women who inspire at the CNN Inspire Summit. Other honorees include Patty Hall, Founder H20 for Life; Majora Carter, Founder of Sustainable South Bronx; Eve Ensler, Playwright/Performer and Founder of the V-Day Global Women’s Foundation; Jessica Flannery, Founder of Kiva.org; Wendy Kopp, Founder of Teach for America; Jen, Creator of the Blog, “Millionaire Mommy Next Door”; and Doris “Granny D” Haddock, Political Activist/Advocate for Campaign Finance Reform. “We are so amazed to be part of this event and will be sure to put pictures up on the site after!” said Molly and Carly.
Esurance, the direct-to-consumer personal auto insurance company, announced the release of a full length music video featuring the eco-friendly band Cloud Cult. The full-length video expands on the thirty-second version airing on select TV networks, and is an animated adventure featuring the band’s modern bluegrass ditty, “Lucky Today.” As part of the company’s “Get Animated” campaign, where real people are transformed into animated versions of themselves, the video features all seven of Cloud Cult’s members. Esurance and Cloud Cult met at the 2007 Monolith Festival presented by Esurance and immediately found common ground on environmental interests. Esurance sponsored Cloud Cult’s Spring tour, helping purchase carbon offsets and bio-diesel fuel for the band’s tour transportation. Kristin Brewe, Esurance’s director of brand and public relations, stated, “When we were introduced to Cloud Cult at the 2007 Monolith Festival, we knew immediately we wanted to work with them. We loved their music, and we loved their environmental message. The partnership has been really positive, and we’re glad to showcase such great talent as a part of our efforts to raise awareness about safeguarding our environment.” Esurance wasn’t the first company to reach out to Cloud Cult in an effort to license its music. “We’ve had a lot of offers over the past few years to use our songs in mainstream commercials, but we’ve always been forced to say ‘no,'” said Craig Minowa, Cloud Cult’s singer and songwriter. “We’re very particular about what sorts of products our songs are associated with, so it’s nice to finally meet and work with an environmentally conscious company that meets our standards.” As part of the promotion of the partnership between Esurance and Cloud Cult, the auto insurance company created a micro-site: www.esurance.com/cloudcult The site features three free downloadable MP3s hand-picked by Cloud Cult. Brewe stated, “When folks come and check out the micro-site, they’re taking the time to learn about the band and about how to help protect our environment. As a reward for doing so, there’s not much better than some free music from a great band like Cloud Cult.”
Bottled water waste has become a very real environmental concern, with more than 38 billion water bottles ending up in landfills each year. Last year Brita, who is the Official Water Sponsor of this year’s Good And Green™, and Nalgene partnered to create the FilterForGood <http://filterforgood.com,/> campaign, which works to reduce plastic bottle waste by reminding people that filtered water and a reusable bottle are an ideal solution for reducing bottled water waste. One Brita pitcher can effectively replace 300 plastic water bottles, which can also save the average person more than $145 a month. In addition, individuals can take the FilterForGood pledge to reduce their bottled water waste and receive a coupon for a Brita filtration system or replacement filter. Filterforgood.com also offers stylish FilterForGood reusable bottle, which are made of Tritan, a BPA-free plastic. To date, the pledge has helped keep more than 110 million bottles from American landfills! Attendees at this year’s Good And Green™ will have an opportunity to experience FilterForGood during the two day conference, December 3 & 4 in Chicago. Visit filterforgood.com to take the pledge and for more information, including bottled water statistics <http://filterforgood.com/learn_the_facts.php> and green tips <http://filterforgood.com/tips_from_josh.php> from Josh Dorfman, author of The Lazy Environmentalist. The FilterForGood campaign won the IPRA Golden World Award in the Consumer PR – Existing Product category, the Silver Sabre in the Household Product category and the PRSA Bronze Anvil in the Web sites: External category.