Earlier this winter as I sat by the fire (trying not to freeze) watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory for (by my best estimation) the 500th time – I was struck by some of the take-aways old Mr. Wonka had for sustainable environments.
“The Candy Man Can”
The Candy Man makes everything he bakes satisfying and delicious
Now you talk about your childhood wishes, you can even eat the dishes
Okay, well maybe you can’t eat the dishes – yet, but you can purchase serving platters, to-go containers, plastic-ware, plates, cups, cutlery, towels, tissues and even boxes made from sugar cane. The process uses recycled sugar cane bagasse, which is is the fibrous residue left over after the sugar cane has been crushed and the sugar extracted. The final product is biodegradable so it can be thrown into the compost heap with the rest of the uneaten Candy Man delectable treats.
“(I’ve Got A) Golden Ticket”
‘Cause I’ve got a golden ticket
I’ve got a golden chance to make my way
And with a golden ticket, it’s a golden day
So this one might be a little bit of a stretch, but there really isn’t a “golden ticket” to sustainability – but we do all have a golden chance to make our world (way) a better place for the future. Many companies today are instituting a Willie-Wonka-esque Golden Ticket system to recognize and reward employees for their golden contributions to the company’s sustainability efforts. And even though I’m not a big fan of the whole “everyone’s a winner” ideology, using this system, everyone really is.
If you want to view paradise
Simply look around and view it
Anything you want to, do it
Wanta change the world?
There really is nothing to changing the world. The old adage of changing the world one step/person/event/day at a time is the only way to truly get something accomplished. We see something we’ve also never seen to this caliber before: companies (like Toyota) asking what you (the public) would do with their technology. These are (some would say) desperate times calling for creative imaginative solutions to business as usual. How are you going to use your pure imagination?
Have you ever felt like people were judging you?
Have you ever felt like people were judging your eco-friendliness?
I must admit, I notice the looks I get at the store when I do (or don’t) bring my own bags. They range anywhere from annoyed that the cashier has to take an extra 10 seconds to open my bags to an understanding and appreciative look for this (seemingly) small gesture. A couple of weeks ago, I was volunteering in the Cooking School for our local Central Market and the class was set up early so I had time to walk around the store with a friend. Since I was just there to volunteer, I didn’t bring my grocery bags (I don’t even think I had any in the car!). I was taken aback my my friend’s reaction to my lack of preparedness.
She judged me.
Now, she did it in a joking-ish way, but she judged me nonetheless. My meager purchases filled one regular size grocery bag (which I use as trash bags for my bathroom trash cans) but she tried to shame me into not taking a bag and just carrying my purchases out. The cashier stuck up for me, reminding us that I could recycle my bag in the store on my next trip, I thanked him for being on my side.
Admittedly, this friend has made a big impression on my green-ness, recycling and efforts to incorporate sustainable solutions in my business and event planning but I felt like a victim of “Eco Snobbery”. It reminded me that I don’t want to be an Eco Snob!
Championing a cause is a noble effort, but there’s a thin line between advocate and judge. Which are you?
I was came across a post on the MPI PlusPoint blog about Employee morale at green companies.
I know that I’m happy to have a job and it makes me happy to know that we do as much as we can to recycle and reduce our carbon footprint. We do our best to find local businesses for catering that use recyclable or compost-able disposables, we have cut back on our waste by adding bulk items (snacks, water, etc). I wouldn’t say we are full on embracing “green” but we are making strides and believe it or not our customers aren’t the only ones that are noticing.
I can’t say that I would love my job less if I didn’t recycle or incorporate the “green” aspects into my day-to-day job but they bring a cool challenge when it comes to saving money, walking the walk and talking the talk. I think because of the push at work, I’m more aware of what I do at home and this idea has become more of a core value now instead of a trendy cool new thing to do because everyone else is (or should be).
My company has a “Green Team” they make it a competition at times and we use examples of what we do in our own offices to our customers - now is it the final selling point, absolutely not BUT people notice! They are especially likely to notice if they hold these values close to their hearts – both positive and negative.
Is your company a “green” company? How do you feel about it?
I came across a blog posting on GreenBiz.com for a new organization called GreenDeals, a “Groupon for Greenies”. Basically, it is the “Groupon” model focused on offers from green companies.
“GreenDeals helps Americans who are tightening their belts live a green life and save money at the same time,” Green America Executive Director Alisa Gravitz said in a statement. “From household necessities to great gift ideas, GreenDeals provides terrific products from businesses that have been screened by Green America for their social and environmental responsibility.”
Given Groupon’s amazing popularity, I can’t help but think about the disconnect between what people say in surveys about how much they value sustainability or green products and when it actually comes time to put their money where their mouth is (so to speak). In my opinion, Groupon’s become so popular because it’s mainly service-based items (hospitality, working out, restaurants, etc) with all the variety – you never really know what you’re going to get. GreenDeals (at least today) offers a coupon, a tip and a product – is there enough of a dramatic difference to make this really work?
Check it out and let me know what you think. Visit GreenDeals.org