Thursday, March 08, 2007

Am I a Hippy? - Part Two

The previous post was about making our own canvas grocery bags (hippy?). This post is about an environmental viral marketing campaign.

Over the past few months I've spent a lot of time thinking about living a more environmentally conscious and sustainable life. One of my recent topics of thought has been waste. I've been paying additional attention to the amount of junk mail we receive, the amount of papers I print at work, the amount of paper towels people use in the restroom, the amount of napkins used at restaurants, etc. I had thought of ways that I could reduce my personal consumption but I hadn't thought of any effective ways to get the word out. I was more than excite when I found a blog titled These Come From Trees. It is " An experiment in environmentalism, viral marketing, and user interface design with the goal of reducing consumer waste paper!" (from their blog header).

The "These Come From Trees" (TCFT) solution is exactly what I was looking for. It is an easy way to remind people that those 23 napkins they took (of which they will only use two and throw away the rest) came from trees or that they don't need six paper towels to dry their hands. They are reminded by a carefully placed sticker on the paper dispenser.

I can fully get behind TCFT and support what they are doing. The thing I like the most about this is it is subtle. It isn't chaining yourself to a tree or fire-bombing the paper plants. I think it will be more effective because it is speaking to the consumer, not the producer or anyone in the supply chain. If the consumer reduces their use then the producer will manufacture less and then less trees will be cut down. That is a very simplistic view and it may be viewed as naive, however, a small change in consumer usage will effect a large change higher up.

I am signing up for some stickers and will enjoy putting them up.

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