Earth Day brings a slew of marketing campaigns centered on the environment, filling our already overstuffed e-mail in boxes. Here's a sample. Look for more in the coming days:
Tropicana orange juice, fresh off losing 20% of sales on its botched re-branding, is teaming up with Cool Earth to "Rescue the Rainforest" through the end of 2009. Cool Earth is a young London-based group (founded by Johan Eliasch, U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Special Representative on Deforestation and Clean Energy) that says it sets up trusts in forest communities to patrol tracts of forest, while setting up local sustainable businesses that do not rely on deforestation. Cool Earth has run into local opposition in Brazil for its marketing campaign, which suggests that donors "own" a piece of the rainforest (neither donors nor Cool Earth owns the land that is "sponsored" or "rescued").
Tropicana says it will protect 100 square feet of forest in Peru's Ashaninka Corridor for every person who visits www.tropicanarainforest.com and enters the 11-character code found on many of its orange juice containers. (For those inclined to cost-benefit environmental calculations in the refrigerated beverage aisle, it would take about 50 codes entered to protect one acre. Cool Earth charges about $100 per acre for more typical donations; at the time of this writing, Tropicana claimed to have "rescued" about 622 acres, or about one square mile, through the campaign.) For your effort, you also are entered in a sweepstakes for prizes like "recyclable bags, bamboo BBQ kits, environmental board games, green journals and gift cards." Teams are eligible for a separate sweepstakes, with the prize being a $10,000 donation to a charity of your choice.
Tropicana (owned by PepsiCo) will presumably also harvest your name, e-mail address and mailing address, with the help of YTBS, a marketing firm specializing in "interactive promotion and loyalty solutions."
PayItGreen.org, an industry association set up by banks and other financial services companies to promote the environmental benefits of direct deposit and other paperless banking methods, has declared April..."PayItGreen Month." (I'm going to take this opportunity to declare May "Dan Month"; you can send well-wishes and encouragement during this important month to me or any other Dan you know....Though, in fairness, we might all be a tad dismayed to learn banks were spending our taxpayer bailout money on a big paperless banking marketing campaign.)
Lazy marketing aside, PayItGreen makes a simple, and worthwhile point: Opting for paperless banking, whenever possible, reduces paper waste, which reduces deforestation, saves wildlife, protects water supplies, helps clean the air and otherwise makes good green sense. "If employees signed up to use Direct Deposit, individually they would save almost a pound of paper every year," according to PayItGreen. "In fact, if every employee who had access to Direct Deposit used it, we would save an additional 11 million pounds of paper, 4 million gallons of gas, and avoid releasing 32 million pounds of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere each year....And people who pay bills online do so in 15 minutes a month, whereas those who write out checks take two hours....A single household can spend up to $100 on postage each year and another $50 per year on the cost of checks, late charges and fuel."
Maybe we can all take that time saved to reflect on the importance impact that Direct Deposit has had on the history of our nation.
Marcal, maker of paper towels, tissues, napkins and toilet paper, planted an "Urban Forrest" (that second "r" is one of Marcal's brands) on April 14 in the middle of New York's Times Square. (Doctorate research project alert: Measure the effect of blinking neon signs on carbon sequestration!)
The campaign has the counter-intuitive aim, for a paper products company, of reminding people how many paper towels, tissues, napkins and toilet paper they waste each year -- the equivalent of almost 10 trees per person "literally flushed down the toilet or thrown in the trash," as one Marcal invitation put it. The real intent is to promote Marcal's Small Steps line of 100% recycled paper products (other Marcal lines of recycled paper products use between 60% and 80% post-consumer recycled paper).
The display was to include a two-ton, 15-foot high roll of toilet paper representing the average household's annual consumption...matched with enough waste paper -- 3 1/3 tons of newspapers, junk mail, catalogs, magazines and office paper -- to make that much recycled toilet paper. In addition, passers-by will walk among 34 full-sized trees, about how much an average family can preserve by choosing recycled paper products over paper products made from virgin forests.
While we might quibble with using disposable napkins and paper towels at all (why not cloth?), the Natural Resources Defense Council has estimated that if every household in the United States bought just one four-pack of 260-sheet recycled bath tissue, instead of the typical tissue made from virgin fiber, it would eliminate 60,600 pounds of chlorine pollution, preserve 356 million gallons (1.35 billion liters) of fresh water and save nearly 1 million trees.
FlexJobs.com will plant one tree for every desperate, out-of-work American who wants to continue sitting around in his underwear, but get paid for it. FlexJobs connects aspiring telecommuters to jobs that allow you to work from home. For every person who signs up for a new subscription during April ($14.95 a month during the promotion, or $49.95 per year), the site will donate one tree as part of The Nature Conservancy's Plant a Billion Trees campaign, which aims to restore Brazil's Atlantic Forest. (The Nature Conservancy would charge you $1 to plant that same tree.)
As FlexJobs points out in its Earth Day promotion, telecommuting can be good for the environment by reducing peak energy demand and rush hour traffic.
The marketing team at All Terrain decided to celebrate their company's anniversary by making 5 videos under the name Dude We Can Fix It. They're meant to make you laugh, and inspire you to donate $10 to Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection, and its We Can Solve It campaign.
It's global warming action marketing in support of global warming action marketing.
The Alliance for Climate Protection is a marketing and environmental advocacy campaign, designed to encourage people to learn more about global warming, get concerned, and lobby their elected leaders for action. Their innovative Unlikely Alliance adds, pairing political opposites who share concern about the environment, earned them a nomination for a 2009 Heart of Green media award from The Daily Green.
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