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Recycled christmas cards and gifts guide


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Recycled christmas cards and gifts guide

  1. 1. Sustainable ^ Green Gift Guide for BusinessThe Holidays are the one time of year companies of all sizes consistently reach out totheir prospects, clients and partners. Have you ever stopped to think about the messageyour choice of card or gift sends?The holiday season has a built in opportunity to create good will with holiday wishes,cards, and gifts why not let your contacts know what you stand for; customers andconsumers want to know about a company’s environmental policies. Consider goingGreen for the holidays and beyond. Outlined here are some tips and top picks for great,green holiday gift giving.What does it really mean to be Green?Green is often used as a catchall phrase for things that are environmentally friendly andmay be sustainable as well. Sustainability encompasses three pillars, one of which isenvironmental [planet/ green ] Sustainable Green People Reduce Planet Reuse Recycle Profits “Green businesses operate in ways that solve, rather than cause, both environmental and social problems” according to Co-op America, publisher of the National Green Pages. “These businesses adopt principles, policies, and practices that improve the quality of life for their customers, their employees, communities, and the environment.” 1
  2. 2. Factors to consider – before you purchase a card or gift:How the product is made: Is the manufacturing process harmful to the environment orthe community in which it is made?What is it made out of: Is the material sustainable and will it break down and recycleeasily? Is it already made of recycled materials?Where is it made: Locally, or does the product travel miles across the globe to reachus, creating a larger carbon footprint?How are the workers treated: Are they paid a living wage? Do they work in decentconditions?Consider products from renewable resources: A natural resource qualifies as arenewable resource if it is replenished by natural processes at a rate comparable orfaster than its rate of consumption by humans or other users. Bamboo, Cork andHemp are renewable materials. As natural products, they are easily recycled. Cork is harvested without harming the tree [it is actually the bark of a cork oak] Hemp grows rapidly [can be harvested 3 times a year]; it requires little to no………..pesticides and replenishes soil with nutrients and nitrogen Bamboo grows up to 4 feet a day; the root is not removed in harvesting allowing………..the plant to continue to grow Green is now Gorgeous. Until recently, the mere mention of green or earth friendly products was enough to conjure up images of itchy, unattractive clothing and products. Not so anymore. Green products have evolved to be of great quality and beauty. It’s no longer necessary to compromise good quality and aesthetics to adhere to your personal values. 2
  3. 3. How can I tell how green a product is?When looking for green products, we want to know more about the company, product,manufacturing product and process. One of these ways to get these questions answered is tofind out if the company has a Green policy or any sustainable certifications.Certifications and standards are still evolving and are a rather complex matter, and often can’tbe compared to each other, as they don’t use all the same point of measure.This information should be readily available on the company website and on the product displayor packaging; however this is not always the case.A few Certifications to look for:Fair Trade - is a model of international trade which promotes the payment of a fair price as wellas social and environmental standards in areas related to the production of a wide variety ofgoods, particularly exports from developing countries on products such as handicrafts, coffee,cocoa, tea, bananas, honey, cotton, wine, fresh fruit etc. Rainforest Alliance is a non profit organization whose mission is to protect ecosystems and the people and wildlife that depend on them by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior. Their three programs promotesustainable forestry, agriculture and tourism. Farmers, cooperatives, companies andlandowners who are certified by the Rainforest Alliance are required to meet comprehensivesocial and environmental standards. Green Seal is an independent non-profit organizations dedicated to safeguarding the environment and transforming the marketplace by promoting the manufacture, purchase, and use of environmentally responsible products and services. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a non-profit whose mission is "to promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the worlds forests". It carries out this role by certifying sustain ably managed forestry operations and printers, and tracking their timber and paper through the supply chain to the end products which can then carry the FSC ecolabel. Green washing is a term used to describe the perception of consumers that they are being misled by a company regarding the environmental practices of the company or the environmental benefits of a product or service. 3
  4. 4. GreenThese are a few of our favorite ^ thingsGreen or eco- friendly products have been around for years. In addition to better quality andbeauty, they are becoming easier to find from major retailers who are responding to your[consumer] demands.Of course, some of the best gifts are not those that come in boxes. Please consider otheroptions such as giving the gift of service [donating your time], or making a donation in therecipient’s name. These make little or no carbon footprint and usually benefit multiple recipientssimultaneously!We asked an early adopter, the wonderful online gift retailer Uncommon Goods who has hadan entire category dedicated to recycled goods since the business launched in 2000, about this.“Why do we feature recycled products? I think it is the right thing to do and it is good business.Recycling can have a positive impact on the trash and energy issues we are facing andcustomers are increasingly aware of that, which helps spur sales of these products. We areworking with our suppliers to increase the amount of sustainable products that we offer - wehave a long way to go, but are taking small, positive steps.” David Bolotsky, CEOGift Recommendations: Chocolate Verē Goods (pronounced "very") - pure, healthful, hand crafted chocolateUmmmm!! Manufactured in the heart of NYC, they offer a factory tour on Fridays!Rainforest, Fair Trade Certified, For the VIPUncommon Goods features unique gifts for everyone fashioned from recycled materials[including authentic baseball stadium seats from Yankee Stadium to Fenway Park] Your Company and Sustainability Has your company adopted policies or commitments to the environment, social responsibility, your local community? If so let your customers know- consumers are increasingly interested in knowing about the companies they do business with; they are also making buying decisions based on good corporate policies. 4
  5. 5. Stocking Stuffers Nerdy Books latest jewel is Just the tips, man for Protecting the Environment. This is the save-the-planet book for everyone - from your youngest client to the mostsenior manager, in Tip a Day format. iTunes gift cards - music movies, audiobooks, podcasts, tv shows, ringtones. Have it sent via email for near-immediate delivery, or print on your own printer and deliver it to the lucky recipient in person. For extra greenness, download the digital versionHoliday cards – for your businessSeason’s Greenings [from Plain Jane], a unique, beautiful eco friendly cards printed onrecycled stock with vegetable ink. [ok, we are totally biased, these are our own creation – butwe think you will agree, they aren’t like any other cards on the market!] The Gift of Giving – making a differenceVolunteering your time is a wonderful gift- some of the best gifts we give don’t come wrappedin pretty paper. This will bring at least 3 smiles – to the recipient, to you and to your contactswho you share these projects with.Eco Friendly DonationsWorld Wild Life Fund helps save endangered species, offering symbolic animal adoption withdonations. Imagine donating in honor of a client and then sending them pictures of their animal!We think the good feelings will last a lot longer than that box of chocolate you sent last year! Conservancy Plant A Billion Trees program is working to restore 93% [ 330 millionacres]of the Atlantic Forest of Brazil among the biologically richest and diverse forests in theworld inhabited by many species that can be found nowhere else on Earth. They offer aselection of ecards to send the recipient. Match - a leader in the nonprofit world dedicated to helping everyone find a greatplace to volunteer. Its easy to make a buck. Its a lot tougher to make a difference. Tom Brokaw You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give. Winston Churchill No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor is given by what he gave. Calvin Coolidge 5
  6. 6. The Green Gift Guide for Business was written by Jane Tabachnick creator ofStand For Green™, Marketing Tools for Better Business* www.standforgreen.comSeasonsGreenings – Eco Chic Holiday Cards www.seasonsgreenings.netJane is also an Marketing Mentor for Green and Creative Businesses, as well as the founderof the top Green Marketing group on Linked in. She remains a concerned“Some of the best moments in my life have been spent giving the unwrapped gift of giving back;those smiles are priceless!” 6