eco ramblings

a dialogue with an Eco Patriot

Archive for October, 2010

Eco Entrepreneur of the Week

Posted by Luke on October 27, 2010

Here’s a hell of an invention… imagine having a small machine in your garage next to your garbage can that converts plastic to gasoline.  That’s right, instead of throwing all those plastic candy wrappers, bags, and odd-shaped containers into your trash can, put them into this contraption and watch it make fuel for your car.

The Blest Machine, made in Japan, costs approximately $9,500 and is only sold in Japan right now.  If this thing really works and they can prove the concept effectively, you’ve got to imagine that we’ll start seeing some of these machines being used by recyclers and even home owners in the coming decade.  Put me on the waiting list.


R

R

PRUEBA

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Posted in entrepreneur, innovation, plastics, recycling, trash | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Following This Week’s Theme of Videos…

Posted by Luke on October 22, 2010

I hate to say it, but I think these two videos put my Industry Parody video to shame.  What is it about a bunch of white dudes trying to rap about milk and acting hard that I find so funny?

And one more…

 

Posted in marketing, Video | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

An Industry Parody…

Posted by Luke on October 19, 2010

With videos seeming to be the theme with my posts this week, here’s one I made that mocks a typical sales rep in my industry when they call on a customer.  It’s my debut as a director.  Enjoy!

Posted in biodegradable, imitators, marketing, Video | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Do you really need oil in your paper cup?

Posted by Luke on October 15, 2010

Here’s a great little video that our talented creative team produced.  Most people don’t realize that the majority of paper cups are lined with plastic made from oil.

Posted in compostable products, corn, cups, environmental products, hot cups, innovation, plastics, renewable resources, Video, World Art Cups | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Steve Savage of Eco-Products Named ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’

Posted by Luke on October 11, 2010

I attended an award ceremony on October 7th that recognized Steve Savage, the Founder and Chairman of Eco-Products, as the Entrepreneur of the Year by the Boulder Chamber of Commerce.  With Boulder being the Best Town for Startups, according to BusinessWeek, and a top place for entrepreneurs, according to Fast Company, and owning numerous other titles for being an entrepreneurial haven (see my previous post: Boulder’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem), claiming the title of Entrepreneur of the Year is a huge freaking deal.  It’s like being named the best sushi chef in Japan, or the top skier in Vail, or the the smartest guy at Harvard Cornell (my school spirit shines on).

Starting companies is no random act for Steve.  He also founded Ellie’s Eco Home Store, a natural products retail store in Boulder, and his latest venture is called National Eco Wholesale, a national wholesaler of retail products.  Steve also isn’t a newcomer to winning awards.  Here are some of the others he’s won in the past 2-3 years:

  • 40 Under 40 by the Natural Foods Merchandiser
  • Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist from Ernst & Young
  • Boulder County Business Report’s Eco-Hero Award
  • Champion of the Environment Award by Thorne Ecological Institute

And I know he’s just getting started.

Congratulations Steve.  It’s well-deserved.

Posted in awards, Boulder, Eco-Products, startup | Leave a Comment »

Letting Perception Get Ahead of Reality

Posted by Luke on October 6, 2010

I don’t deny that BP undoubtedly failed to take the proper precautions with their deep-water drilling activities.  But I also believe that BP’s downfall was exponentially worse due to their exceptional marketing efforts.  Beyond Petroleum. It was one of the most successful green rebranding campaigns in recent history.  A company that derived over 99% of their revenue from petroleum changed their brand to represent that they derive revenue from nothing but renewable sources.  They completely and utterly mislead consumers into thinking they were better than petroleum.

I admit it.  I was fooled.  Their advertisements of how they invested in renewable energy…  their contributions to social causes…  their green logo…  it seemed legit.  I didn’t do any research, but they were definitely saying the right things.  The problem, though, was that they let the perception of their brand get too far ahead of reality.  They were advertising nothing but green, but they were doing everything but green.

I’ve increasingly witnessed companies in my industry deploying similar tactics.  More than 99% of the products some of our competitors produce (by volume) are made from petroleum.  They are made from the oil that is derived from deep-water rigs.  And even while the nation watched oil gush into the Gulf, those companies continued green washing customers by touting their single green product line.  In fact, some even stepped up their green marketing during that time.  Most people prayed that the oil would stop gushing while these companies kept sucking oil from our earth’s core.

There’s one company in particular that has crossed the line in my mind.  I’ll refrain from stating the company’s name at this point (maybe in a future post I’ll take off my gloves).  This company recently launched a line of green products after 5 years of watching from the sidelines.  However, even while they launched these products, they still promoted their polystyrene foam products as being a great environmental choice.  They are talking out of both sides of their mouth.  They say two completely contradictory statements hoping that they’ll appeal to customers in some way, shape or form.

“We believe polystyrene foam has an excellent carbon footprint compared to PLA.  Buy foam if you want to be green.”

“We just launched a line of sustainable products made from PLA.  They meet the evolving needs of green customers and are less harmful on the environment.  Choose us when you want green”

I kid you not.  That is basically what that company is saying.  It’s shocking, really.  This reminds me of BP because they are letting perception get ahead of reality. They are promoting themselves as greener than they actually are. That won’t last forever though.

My advice to this, anonymous company:  Get 3rd party data that supports your claims.  Consumers aren’t going to allow themselves to be green washed forever.  We”ll let it happen once or twice, but we’ll get smart after that.  There’s a new wave of green coming.  And that wave involves a deeper understanding of what green actually is and making sure companies back up their claims.  Get ready for Green 2.0.  I’ll talk more about that in a future post.

 



Posted in brand loyalty, BS, environmental products, foodservice, greenwashing, management, marketing, Pactiv | 1 Comment »

 
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