May 25, 2015

Made in America – Red, White and Green…

img_0490Last week ABC’s NIGHTLINE did an interesting story on how hard it is to buy products Made in America. As I watched I found it interesting how complacent everyone was about it. I remember watching John Ratzenberger and his Made In America series on the Travel Channel and thinking how proud I was that Americans still make top quality products. A search of “Made in America” on the web finds that maybe the future of American industry lies in new forms of energy. This video is cause for hope, maybe this economy will force America to embrace alternative energy. I recently returned from a trip to San Francisco and was amazed at the “eco-savviness” of the city. Recycling was prominent everywhere, the food court at the Westfield served you on china and with utensils to cut down on the paper plates and cups going in the trash stream. Hybrid taxis and no or low emission vehicles were everywhere. I understand from one of our cabbies all taxis in SF must be hybrid or natural gas vehicles by 2012. It just reminded me that we have a long way to go here in Pennsylvania. The future is alternative and thinking green and the East Coast of the US has a long way to go.


Some Great Green Tips – Great Networking Ammo

With the green movement picking up steam and becoming more and more prevalent throughout corporate America, your knowledge of energy-saving tips or recycling could open up a lot of possiblities. Take networking for instance, if you know the difference between FSC and fossil fuels or have designed green communications – you’re in a better position than someone who barely recycles at home.

 I applaud corporations like Whole Foods Market which has been at the forefront of creating a better environment for all:

1) They’ve stopped using plastic bags, thus preventing 100 million plastic bags from hitting the waste stream.

2) They sell more organics than anyone else.

3) They promote eco-friendly packaging.

But what can you do, as a communicator or a corporate employee? You can request that brochures, magazines and marketing materials are eco-friendly. Insist on FSC-certified papers for your projects. Insist on them from your printer, your suppliers, your vendors. The FSC or Forest Stewardship Council, based in Germany is an international organization the promotes responsible stewardship of the world’s forests. It verifies through a strict certification process where the paper you are printing on or using in packaging is tracked all the way back to its source and must be from sustainable sources to be FSC-certified.

I know from now on I’ll be requesting FSC papers and printers for all of RavenWood Creative’s work. What tips do you have to make you home or organization more green? Let me know. Can your organization stop making paper copies for large events and instead pass out DVDs or flash drives to the attendees? Can you use more electronic means to get your point across rather than printing it? Can you make sure you recycle, reuse, and reduce what you use? Sure you can, let me know what your company is doing and we can discuss it here and share it with everyone. An organization I’m involved in IABC has done most of this and is preparing to do more, which we all can, do more to clean up our environment, our air, our water and get away from our dependency on oil! Gas prices are a great networking ice-breaker, knowing a bit about how to reduce our use of it is a great conversation starter.

Until Next Time, Tim



Going Green – What’s a Communicator to Do?

 Sorry for the lack of posts lately, I had some computer issues I had to work through. But now I’m rockin’ and rolling again.

Recently, it seems it’s as hot as the planet is predicted to get to say you’re going “green.” I’ve seen Al Gore on abc touting his We advertisement program, and then I’ve seen those same ads “We were…” all over TV. I’ve seen retail giant Walmart hawking its green products with cool little stats that if all 220 million of its customers would install a CF lightbulb or use less paper what a better planet it would be.

 Now, I’m all for going green, reducing the greenhouse gases, and our dependency on oil foreign or domestic. Read Alan Weisman’s The World Without Us and you’ll do everything you can to reduce plastic waste and the use of chemicals and preservatives in your life.

The latest trend I’m seeing is for going green becoming a business issue, see communicators debate the issue – myragan. I’m all for it, I recently received an invitation to a bank opening reception in my community. The invite was mailed, but it was printed on 100% recycled paper and had wildflower seeds embedded in it to plant the entire invite under 1/4 inches of soil rather than just throwing it away. I applaud Harleysville National Bank for doing that, and I know everyone who received the invite thought it was cool.

I also wholehearted support the use of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) paper products, SmartWood, Green Seal, and the EPA’s Green Power Partner program. We need to reduce the number of trees being cut down and increase the use of recycled products. RavenWood Creative has an active recycling program, we recycle more than we throw out, we subsidize wind power for our electric use, for about $7.00 a month, and recycle packing products whenever we are shipping something – just three of the ways we are going green.

 So what do you do or your company does to reduce, reuse or recycle? How are you going green, and does it need to be a company initiative or just how you conduct business?

Let me know, until next time, Tim