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Waste-Reduction Campaigns, Sharing Best Practices Among Brand, NGO Earth Day Efforts

Every year, April evokes campaigns and initiatives from companies and nonprofits alike in celebration of Earth Day (April 22) or Earth Month.

This year, personal care brand Tom’s of Maine has teamed up with upcycling leader TerraCycle on the#LessWasteChallenge, a stakeholder engagement campaign to reduce waste. Consumers are invited to take an online pledge to reduce their household waste by one pound per week.

“We launched the #LessWasteChallenge this year to remind families just how easy it is to make a difference, and to teach our children how they can impact their home, school and community with just a few simple changes,” said Susan Dewhirst, goodness programs manager at Tom’s of Maine.

A recent study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found that the average American generates 4.4 pounds of waste per day – more than 30 pounds per week – and recycle or compost just 34.3 percent (an average of 1.51 pounds per day). The #LessWasteChallenge website provides a number of tips and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects to help people cut back on their waste. The tips are accompanied by the amount of trash the average person creates with the wasteful alternatives create every year. For example, paying bills online and unsubscribing from junk mail could save 23 and 41 pounds of paper per year, respectively. Using reusable containers could prevent a fair amount of plastic waste annually, as well: travel mugs could save 11.13 pounds of paper cup waste, water bottles could save 3.61 pounds of plastic bottle waste, and 0.84 pounds of baggies could be replaced with reusable food containers. DIY projects include activities such as starting a swap with friends, neighbors or colleagues, and crafts such as making a gift box from a toothpaste box and making a bird feeder from a mouthwash bottle and plastic spoon.

“Making a lifestyle overhaul can be overwhelming to someone, so the #LessWasteChallenge is the perfect way to get started,” said TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky. “A lot of little steps add up to one big one.”


Elsewhere in personal care, live probiotic skincare company Mother Dirt is celebrating Earth Day by contributing 20 percent of its proceeds from April 12 to 26, 2016 to Conservation International’s Save a Milecampaign. Those who purchase a Mother Dirt product during those two weeks will also be entered into a giveaway. Winners of a year-long 25 percent discount will be randomly selected by the company each day during the two-week Earth Day campaign.

Mother Dirt says it aims to “bring into focus” the environmental impacts of the production, use and disposal of skincare products and current skincare regimens. The company asserts that its products are formulated so that users can reduce their reliance on skincare products and cut down on their water usage. To spread their message of “less is more,” company representatives will be attending the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival this weekend, April 16 and 17, 2016.

The company has also launched an “eco-friendly” packaging option, which will be the default for all online orders going forward. Mother Dirt’s bottles will be shipped without paper boxes or inserts, the company will be using new lightweight mailers in place of the large foil mailers, and insulated mailers will be shipped inFedEx bags instead of large FedEx boxes. Customers may still opt-in to have their products shipped with the full packaging (listed as “With Boxes” at check-out) or in gift boxes, however the company estimates that the packaging changes will save 172,000 gallons of water, 180 trees, 34 tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and 14 tons of waste each year.


Meanwhile, Positive Impact, a non-profit focused on creating a more sustainable event industry, is once again hosting a #CSRShareDay conversation on Twitter. The 24-hour event will begin at 00:00 GMT on April 22, 2016. The organizers hope that event professionals will share best practices and inspire others in the industry to take action.

“#CSRshareDay is about sharing ideas, wisdom, challenges, best practices, case studies and more. We are using Twitter so everyone can join the conversation and this is taking place on Earth Day so people outside the event industry will understand how our industry is in positive action,” said Positive Impact’s Managing Director, Fiona Pelham.

The main theme of this year’s conversation will be carbon. Positive Impact is one of the partner organizations behind the event industry’s Carbon Pledge.

One-hour slots of the chat will be hosted by organizations such as Meet Green, Green Shoot Pacific, Rural Tourism Network, COIS 2007, Wonderful Copenhagen, MCI Group, Sus Dane, Meeting U, Tourism Toronto, Cerespo, Movement for Democratic Change, and PTcice. Other companies, such as UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s, are expected to participate.

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