Posted by Tom.Bross on 30. April 2009 09:50
I can’t remember not recycling. I got a good jumpstart on green living thanks to my mother who officially became a hippie in 1971. (She was an ‘unofficial hippie’ long before that.) My brothers and sisters and I grew up separating the organic garbage for composting and recycling newspaper, cardboard, plastic, metal cans and glass jars. We had a vegetable garden in the back yard. We ate what I felt was unfair amounts of bean sprouts, tofu and wheat germ. My Mom was into protecting Mother Nature long before it was popular and her ideals rubbed off on us kids.
We lived in Davis, California back then, which hosted community gardens, lots of bike paths, solar panels and greenbelts. When it came to ecology, Davis was on the cutting edge. Yet at the time, I was horrified to live in the same house with a woman who wore Birkenstocks purchased from the Whole Earth Catalog. Now I’ve come to appreciate how lucky I really was. I never had to make a conscious decision to live a more sustainable lifestyle – that’s all I knew. When it came to creating a business, I naturally favored something environmentally sound. But long before MyGoodGreetings.com was launched I had a variety of jobs where I fell into the role of ‘office recycling guy’.
My first real job after college was in Sacramento working in the art department for a national retail jeweler. Our team designed and oversaw the printing of the catalogs and in-store point-of-purchase materials. My first press checks were real eye-openers. I couldn’t believe how much “make-ready” paper was required to get the color right. Sure my print rep reassured me that it all gets recycled but I still felt there had to be a better way.
To reduce the make ready waste we calibrated the ideal 4-color ink builds in our gold and silver products so we could get up and level out at the correct settings more quickly. We started printing on the backside of our posters and counter cards, which saved a ton of money and materials. We also created campaigns that could be re-used and updated with a few key pieces rather than having to print an entirely new kit of collateral over and over again.
At MyGoodGreetings.com we use digital presses that virtually eliminate paper waste. Unlike traditional offset presses, which require constant ink flow and registration adjustments, digital presses are designed to deliver a predictable color balance even for one single sheet.
Fast forward about 7 years and I’m working at a small advertising agency in Oakland, California. My boss and I notice how much office paper is going into the trash so we start collecting it in
cardboard boxes and take turns driving it over to Berkeley to the nearest recycling facility. A couple of years later, Oakland starts collecting office paper at our building for recycling. Though this means no more office breaks to Berkeley, getting the recycling done just got easier.
Fast forward again and this time I’m in Spokane, Washington. The office I work in isn’t hip to recycling. How can this be? I take the initiative and label some boxes for cans, paper and cardboard and place them in a central location. At first I get teased. They call me the “California Kid”. But the boxes are a hit and soon the whole office is participating. Some people get really into it. One girl in particular starts digging through peoples’ trash baskets in search of items that should have been recycled. Wow! All I did was get the ball rolling. After that everyone gladly pitched in.
If your office isn’t recycling or could be recycling better, do something about it. Take the initiative. Become the office Recycling Guy or office Recycling Girl! It won’t take a ton of time but you can make a ton of difference. Plus it feels great knowing you started something that’s good for you, your peers, the environment and the planet we leave behind for future generations.
Like Mom used to say, “Be good to Mother Nature and she’ll be good to you.”
Posted by Rene.Bross on 15. April 2009 10:30
You see the term and the logo used more and more often, on everything from catalogs to greeting cards, but what exactly does FSC Certified mean? I’m glad you asked.
The U.S. is the largest market for paper products in the world, producing 90 million tons of paper annually and, in-turn, consuming about 100 million tons. Currently only 35% of these 90 million tons is recycled fiber. And here's an interesting stat-- roughly 25% by volume of timber cut annually in the US is used for paper production.
FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council and it was created to foster sustainable forestry worldwide, which is a hefty goal. The FSC sets forth principles, criteria, and standards that span economic, social, and environmental concerns. The FSC standards represent the world’s strongest system for guiding forest management toward sustainable outcomes. The FSC’s international headquarters are located in Bonn, Germany. The .S. division of FSC opened its chapter in Washington D.C. in 1995.
Recycled fiber is a key element for responsible consumption and so are well-managed forests where the raw pulp begins. The Forest Stewardship Council works in tandem with the lumber industry to ensure that the wood fiber used to make paper comes from harvested forests that meet strict environmental and socioeconomic standards and never from old growth timber stands or rainforests.
Just like other forest products, in order to use the FSC logo as an "environmental claim" on paper, the product must have flowed through the FSC "chain-of-custody" from the FSC-certified forest, to a paper manufacturer, merchant, and finally printer who have FSC chain-of-custody certification. MyGoodGreetings uses a Bay Area Green printer that has achieved FSC chain-of-custody certification. While we could print the FSC certification logo on the back of our cards, we chose not to for aesthetic reasons. (FSC requires that their logo be reproduced at a size that’s much too big for the back of our cards. But rest assured, our paper stock is FSC Certified)
MyGoodGreetings made a conscious decision to support the Forest Stewardship Council goals by selecting papers, suppliers and printers that have achieved FSC certification.
To learn more about the FSC in the united states visit: www.fsus.org/paper
To learn more about the FSC worldwide visit: www.fac.org
For more on Forest Ethics visit: www.forestesthics.org
For more on the stocks that MyGoodGreetings uses visit: www.newleafpaper.com
Posted by Rene.Bross on 10. April 2009 10:30
We use many green cleaning products and here in Spokane, WA detergents with phosphates are completely banned from the shelves. Our Spokane river is our greatest and most beautiful resource and keeping it free of harsh chemicals is a good thing! We just had to share our favorite green dishsoap with you-- Method dishsoap is wonderful, made of coconut oil, derived biodegradable cleaners, aloe vera gel and vitamin E. It's also the first dish soap to be recognized by the Design for the Environment (DfE) program and is manufactured using renewable energy. That's all fine and good but the biggest reason we LOVE this product is that our sponges absolutely DO NOT STINK -- AT ALL, EVER!!! It's a super added bonus of this fine product that you will also save money on sponges- using them much, much longer. I have no idea why the stank is gone but it is and we are thrilled! You can find this and many Method products at Target stores.
Posted by Rene.Bross on 8. April 2009 10:29
Spring is here which means- along with tulips and green grass- that graduation celebrations are right around the corner. Now you can share your grad's great accomplishments with eco-friendly photo cards printed on 100% recycled, FSC Certified, archival matte card stock. It's easy to upload your favorite photos onto our fun and hip graduation cards. I especially like the multi-photo cards. Show the graduate engaged in his/her favorite hobbies or show them throughout the years- they grow so fast! Whichever photo card your choose it will be sure to be a big hit with family and friends! Check out all our Graduation Cards right here.