How Green Is Your Plastic?

By Suki Kramer


Diamonds are forever, but how bout “eco-plastics?” I’m here to tell ya they aren’t too far behind.

Manufacturer’s in the “green biz” started to talk about this amazing discovery awhile back & everyone’s believed without question…Wow! Plastics made from corn! That biodegrade? Cool!

No one, of course, said anything about #1 – the corn industry is one of the top users of pesticides on the planet & #2 – no one had any PROOF (oh THAT old thing!) that these things actually biodegraded!
See, little did we know (or still know) that what “they” mean by “biodegrade” (geesh, this whole column is full of quotation marks!)

Plastic made from corn is polylactic acid (PLA) & in theory biodegradable. But the theory was a dream & reality is well, a wake up call.

Exactly how long it takes so-called eco-plastics to biodegrade is a subject of much debate. The fact is, we haven’t had long enough to know! Some have suggested that it could take a century. Others insist that it could take as long as 1,000 years. Either way, is that what YOU thought they were?

Now, environmentalists have been saying this for some time now, but you wouldn’t know it. Mainstream publications such as Scientific American & Smithsonian Magazine have been waving a red flag about the problems of supposedly problem-free plastics for quite a few years now. But does the general public know that? Uh uh…all they know is what companies that call themselves “green” are telling them.

Oh here’s another thing. Not only don’t they biodegrade as they should, but when they are forced – only under very specific circumstances – the process releases carbon dioxide & methane, greenhouse gases that actually add to global warming!

Even a group formed especially to make this product, NatureWorks, of Minnetonka, Minnesota, admits that a PLA product will last as long as a regular piece of plastic in a normal landfill.

So, remember all this the next time you hear someone spouting the virtues of biodegradable plastics. Don’t believe the hype.

We’ve seen the plastics of the future – much like the plastics of the past, but with better public relations.

Suki Kramer is the Founder and Owner of suki® advanced. organic. science.®  Find Suki Pure skin care and cosmetic products at Whole Foods Markets across the nation.  suki® advanced. organic. science.®

Green Marketing and the Snuggie Factor

by Lisa Proctor

We've all seen the commercials, youtube videos and national media about the quirky blanket with sleeves that's raked in nearly $100 million during an economic period that's seen the near collapse of the mortgage industry, the demise of GM and 15 million jobs lost.

It just goes to show—you just never know. In fact, the next Snuggie success story could be yours. In times of economic challenge, marketing budgets are generally the first to be cut. Our economy operates very much as a flock of geese, with most businesses following the lead of the guy (or girl) in front.

As the head of an agency that specializes in creating advertising strategies and green marketing campaigns for eco business, wellness companies, the organic industry and progressive businesses, I encourage our clients to resist the temptation to follow. And to lead instead.

That's what Snuggie did. Despite the fact that the concept for their product wasn't new. And despite the fact that there were competitors in their field, they led. There are 100 million reasons for you to do the same.

Lisa Proctor is the president and creative director for firefly180 marketing—a branding and advertising agency that specializes in LOHAS marketing, wellness marketing, green marketing and renewable energy marketing.

Green Marketing—Shift Your Thinking and Save

by Lisa Proctor

Recently the U.S. Food Service switched to rubber bands instead of shrink wrap and saved $8,000.

Of course from an eco standpoint since they were using far less natural resources, they actually saved a whole lot more than money. This is just one more example of how a little shift in thinking can generate huge financial and environmental rewards.

As a leader in environmental advertising, LOHAS marketing and eco business, I've worked with a lot of organic brands within the organic industry. Because this category is relatively new, in the early years there were no rule books to read. Or case studies to follow. But far from being a hindrance, this lack of direction led to amazing innovation that fueled the growth of the organic industry by double digits for years on end.

So look at the way you run your current marketing program. Pretend that you are starting from scratch. Imagine that words like "can't," "won't work," "too expensive" and "impossible," do not exist in your vocabulary. Re-imagine. Play. And focus on your desired outcome, not the obstacles you perceive. Then get ready to shift your thinking and save.

Lisa Proctor is the president and creative director for firefly180 marketing—a branding and advertising agency that specializes in LOHAS marketing, wellness marketing, green marketing and renewable energy marketing.