Archive for August, 2009
Looking for a lesson in recycling? Look no further than the new line of Eco-friendly backpacks, messenger bags and lunch boxes from Lands’ End. Each item in the new Eco-friendly collection is made of recycled fabric created from discarded plastic bottles. Lands’ End is introducing the new line to kids and college students alike just in time for the start of the new school year. “At Lands’ End, we always look for ways to develop new and innovative products that our customers will value and appreciate,” said Shannon Lelouch, director of product development at Lands’ End. “The new Eco-friendly collection offers a perfect combination of green innovation, performance and functionality. It’s a great green choice for any age.” The new Eco-friendly line offers green credibility without sacrificing performance and function. The 600-denier ripstop polyester is the toughest fabric used in Lands’ End packs and will hold up to all the rigors of a long school year, plus day hikes and camping. Through an innovative process, plastic bottles are recycled into “threads” and woven into a polyester fabric. A crosshatch, ripstop weave reinforces the fabric’s strength and makes products in the Eco-friendly line exceptionally durable.
A new national study of green consumers is busting the stereotypes about them: The environment is not their top concern, their kids are not influencing them to be green, and while many know what they should do to save the planet, they often don’t do it. As a result, messages aimed at them often fall on deaf ears, said Suzanne Shelton, whose firm, Shelton Group, conducted the study. The study, one of four annual surveys conducted by Shelton Group, polled 1,007 U.S. consumers who at least occasionally buy green products (77 percent of the population) and found there is no typical “green consumer.” “Most green advertising is created as if there’s one pool of green consumers and they’re all motivated by ‘save the planet!’ messaging,” Shelton said. “We need a revolution in this thinking. Not all green consumers are the same, they’re not all motivated by the same messages and they’re not all inclined to buy only green products.” The study, called Green Living Pulse, shattered six myths:
- Myth: Green consumers’ top concern is the environment.
When asked to identify their top concern, the economy, by far, is No. 1 (with 59 percent calling it their top concern) and the environment falls far behind (8 percent).
- Myth: Green consumers’ main motivation when reducing their energy use is to save the planet.
When asked the most important reason to reduce energy consumption, 73 percent chose “to reduce my bills/control costs” and only 26 percent chose “to lessen my impact on the environment.”
- Myth: Green consumers are all-knowledgeable about environmental issues.
For example, the survey asked, “From what you have read or heard about CO2 (carbon dioxide), please place a check beside any of the following statements you think are true.” Almost half (49 percent) chose the incorrect answer, “It depletes the ozone layer.”
- Myth: Green consumers fall into a simple demographic profile.
While the study detected some demographic tendencies, it found that green consumers aren’t easily defined by their age, income or ethnicity. Instead, the survey found that green consumers generally share one of two mindsets. The Engaged Green Mindset is marked by optimism, extroversion, and a propensity to try new things — and is more likely to respond to themes of innovation and possibility. The Mainstream Green Mindset is more pessimistic, introverted and apt to like things known and tried – responding to themes of security and reliability.
- Myth: Children play a big part in influencing their parents to be green.
Only 20 percent of respondents with children said their kids encouraged them to be greener – promoting recycling and turning off lights, for example.
- Myth: If people just knew the facts they’d make greener choices.
The study showed that knowledge does not always lead to behavior. Individuals who answered all of the science questions correctly did report participating in a significantly higher average number of green activities — such as driving a fuel-efficient car or lowering their thermostat. However, the 25-34 age group consistently answered the questions correctly, yet, on average, their green activity levels were lower than those of older respondents.
“Because green consumers are being stereotyped, and these myths we tested are embraced by marketers as facts, many green messages are falling on deaf ears,” Shelton said. “If these messages were better targeted, more people would be buying green products, conserving electricity and doing more to save the planet.”
Leveraging its bench strength in marketing sustainable (green) products and processes, Hoffman York has announced the establishment of HY-brid – a division dedicated to helping clients navigate their way through today’s “greenscape.” As demands on companies to deliver green products and define a positioning on the environment grow, (H)offman (Y)ork-brid bridges the gap between the economy and our ecosystem. By bringing those two ideas together, HY-brid helps clients understand and explore opportunities that exist in the green marketplace including crafting meaningful messages that will resonate with employees and customers. “A slumping economy doesn’t mean that green efforts will be cut from company budgets,” said Sharon Boeldt, president of Hoffman York PR. “Reducing energy use through efficiency as well as marketing and positioning sustainable products and processes is a trend that’s here to stay. Eventually, all of corporate America will be required to respond to the marketplace how they are responsible citizens in the greenspace.” Any business looking to take a “green” stance needs to provide every day, sustainable products and services to their end users. HY-brid helps clients understand how those products and services, are or are not green and how they can achieve their sustainability objectives through creative, strategic marketing. Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy Program and MASCO’s Merillat Cabinetry are just two of the division’s clients. To support the agency’s HY-brid division, Hoffman York is launching a website dedicated to those potential clients looking for an environmental marketing partner. The www.HY-bridGreen.com site is an interactive tool that allows visitors to find out how green they are. In addition, the site offers visitors an opportunity to learn about HY-brid’s services, as well as interact with the HY-brid team through a blog.
Southwest Airlines’ Dallas and Houston operations were recently recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its leading green power purchase and for its support and participation in the Agency’s Fortune 500 Green Power Challenge. The Dallas and Houston operations are purchasing nearly 16 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of Green power, which is enough to meet 30 percent of the facilities’ purchased electricity use. Southwest Airlines’ Dallas and Houston operations are buying renewable energy certificates (REC) from Reliant Energy. Southwest Airlines (Dallas and Houston operations) is purchasing Green power in support of EPA’s Fortune 500 Green Power Challenge. EPA is challenging Fortune 500 Corporations to collectively exceed 10 billion kilowatt-hours Green power purchasing by yearend 2009. “This was a wonderful initiative by our Green Team, and we are proud to be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Purchasing Green power helps our company become more sustainable, and it helps us in our mission to do the right thing by Our Planet, Our Communities, and Our People.”
Global Electric Motorcars, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chrysler Group LLC, is pleased to announce that all GEM battery-electric vehicle models have been certified to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for the Qualified Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit, part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. The tax credit marks another gain in promoting clean driving nationwide, a cause for which Global Electric Motorcars has been a staunch advocate for over the past 11 years. Aiming to grow the marketplace for efficient and environmentally-friendly vehicles, the tax credit is now available on any new 2007, 2008, or 2009 model year GEM car purchased from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009. “The Qualified Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit makes GEM cars more affordable for our customers,” says Global Electric Motorcars President and Chief Operating Officer, Rick Kasper. “The tax credit, combined with a total ownership cost of one-third that of a full-function vehicle, gives our customers even more reason to use GEM cars for local driving.” The money consumers save on GEM cars through the tax credit is an added benefit to the long-term advantages of driving “green.” With more than 40,000 GEM zero-emission vehicles on the road worldwide, GEM cars drive the equivalent of 150 miles per gallon, or two cents per mile, and are much more economical in price and fuel consumption than traditional cars. Regularly used for running errands, hauling equipment, or commuting to work and school, GEM cars are a safe, ideal choice for city driving. GEM cars are also currently eligible for other federal, state, and local tax incentives. Customers should consult with their tax advisor for guidance on their specific tax situation to determine to what extent they will benefit from this tax credit. For more information regarding the Qualified Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit or other available incentives for GEM cars, please visit http://www.gemcar.com/taxcredit.
Dedicated to reducing their carbon footprint, Zotos International, the parent company of JOICO, ISO and Bain de Terre is the first hair care company in America to implement numerous changes that will significantly help the environment. Here are some of the key changes:
- Zotos reviewed their transportation methods and has built their own railspur. This move alone eliminated most of the diesel particulate and gas emissions that were generated by the shipments. Other positive impacts of railcars include increased fuel efficiency, reduction in environmental pollutants and reduced traffic.
- Zotos also addressed their packaging. Starting with JOICO, all plastic bottles will be made with 70-80% post-recycled material and a lower percentage of virgin resin. This will significantly reduce landfill usage. Additionally, the bottles are sourced locally in Toronto, which eliminates 400 shipments a year making it cost effective and environmentally responsible.
- In early 2010, Zotos will join the LEED Pilot Project (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). The project focuses on five key areas: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.
- Currently Zotos is working on implementing a wind turbine –Zotos will be one of the first companies in New York State to implement it. Zoto’s initial goal is to reach 60% renewable energy by the end of 2010.
Other projects include the exploration of geothermic wells, capturing of heat from compressors to warm the distribution center and optimizing the use of natural daylight to reduce energy needs.
In the old days, swapping clothes (or ‘hand-me-downs’) was something you tried to hide – both giving and receiving them. Now, with green living mainstream, recycled clothing has become a fashion statement and clothing swap events are all the rage. The makers of Green Works® natural cleaners are teaming up with Clothing Swap, Inc®, the leader in hosting clothing recycling and swapping events, to encourage clothing swaps by providing information on www.greenworkscleaners.com for individuals interested in hosting their own “mini” clothing swap with their friends and families in the comfort of their own home. With a focus on creating an eco-friendly environment, over the next 12 months Green Works will also sponsor 10 in-city clothing swap events conducted by Clothing Swap, Inc. To help women refresh their wardrobes across the country, the greener way, clothing swap events will take place in major markets including Los Angeles, Chicago and Denver. In addition, for the September back to school shopping season Green Works and Clothing Swap will host a family swap event in New York to give parents and children an opportunity to gear up for the fall season. From clothes to shoes and accessories, attendees will be able to swap their way to a new wardrobe without breaking the bank. Green Works is partnering with Clothing Swap Inc. as part of its launch of Green Works™ Natural Laundry Detergent and Green Works™ Natural Laundry Stain Remover. “We’re delighted to help moms shop responsibly for the environment and their wallets,” said Emmy Berlind, marketing manager, Green Works natural cleaners. “We look forward to partnering with Clothing Swap, Inc. to make that happen.”