What is “greenwashing” and why does it matter?

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Greenwashing is a spin in which marketing or PR is used deceptively to promote the perception that a company’s products or aims are environmentally friendly – when in fact they are not. Why do companies choose to use greenwashing as part of their marketing program?

It’s simple – more and more consumers are opting for more environmentally ethical products, it pays to be seen as “green” right now. Think of Poland Springs water changing the design of their bottles in 2012 and claiming to be “green” for doing so – though they did reduce the total  amount of plastic being used, they are still plastic bottles (made out of petroleum) that will never biodegrade. Want more examples of greenwashing?

  • Volkswagen/Mercedes-Benz “clean diesel” initiative… remember when VW was sued for rigging 11 million of it’s own cards to cheat emissions.
  • Reynolds American (Natural American Spirit cigarettes) – that’s right… cigarettes, they very same products that spews 7,000 chemicals into the environment, hundreds of which are toxic, and 69 of which are known to cause cancer.
  • Paper plate companies that claim to be recyclable, but which in fact are not. Looking at you AJM Packaging Corporation.
  • … and many, many more.

Companies should be  transparent in all that they do. Look at Eileen Fisher, a certified B Corp, whose company is so transparent it’s founder openly admits that the fashion industry is among the highest polluters in the world – but is again open and transparent in what they do and how they continue to do their best to treat lightly on the environment. Or better known Patagonia, another B Corp, the very company who spawned the organic cotton movement. These are the companies the green consumer should be buying from, not those parading themselves around as being “green” when the only green they really care about is money.

So, how do you protect yourself from greenwashing? There are a few reputable certifications that you can look for when shopping.

Written by: Mollie Mac, ECOBAGS® very own marketing maven. Mollie is an adventurer and a green living advocate. If you have any tips or tricks for her she’d love to hear from you, email her at: mollie(at)ecobags(dot)com:)

Why women in business matter

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Full disclosure – I am a woman, and I work for a woman-owned business, and I can’t stress enough how important that is to me… not just because I’m a feminist, but because as a young woman I always feel heard, respected, and valued by my boss. I’m not saying that is exclusive to female leadership – I have a male superior, who also makes me feel heard, respected, and valued.

But it’s different when it’s a woman, when it’s someone who you can see yourself in, someone who you aspire to be like one day. Because the internalized misogyny in our culture is so strong – even in myself – that whenever I mention my boss to someone who is not familiar with the company, they assume her to be male, and I used to be one of those people, the people who assumed that a person in power must be a man.

I’m proud to say I’m not anymore. I was talking with my sister the other day about her and my brother-in-laws first meeting with their financial adviser – and I had just assumed that he was a woman, it was actually a moment of pride for me when my sister corrected my mistake: the first time I had mistaken someone in a traditionally “male” profession to be a female – because in my mind I have to begun to associate those whom I look to for guidance to be women.

That’s why women in business are so important – because even those of us who are conscious of internalized misogyny, who know that women are just as capable and destined for greatness as any man, can seem to forget the possibilities for ourselves and other women because in the past their have been so few women in positions of power for us to see ourselves in, but that is slowly being remedied.

Women in business and women in power are so important for the continued growth of the world because it opens doors for future generations – it helps young girls to not shy away from STEM subjects in schools, it allows that shy newly minted grad an opportunity at the table, it allows women to dream of the stars and to then reach them.

Written by: Mollie Mac, ECOBAGS® very own marketing maven. Mollie is an adventurer and a green living advocate. If you have any tips or tricks for her she’d love to hear from you, email her at: mollie(at)ecobags(dot)com:)

 

How to successfully co-brand this year

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These iconic WNYC ECOBAGS® can be seen all over NYC! 

Co-branding has been an important part of business since… well forever. But it can also be tricky – for a successful co-branding you need two brands whose products not only fit well together, but whose brand values are in alignment.

Why? Let’s look at the unsuccessful co-branding campaign between Shell and Lego that culminated with this Greenpeace campaign. Why was this campaign ultimately unsuccessful? Shell, and almost every oil major oil company, doesn’t have the greatest reputation. There have been numerous leaks of crude oil into the ocean and onto our lands in the past few decades, and more light than ever is now being brought on the issues that these leaks cause. A toy company, like Lego, does not benefit from such a risky partnership. Parents don’t want to buy Lego products when they associate them will the death of Polar bears.

What does a successful co-branding campaign look like?

A successful co-branding campaign brings together two companies, that may not necessarily have similar products, but do have like minded cultures. Successful co-branding campaigns also help to elevate both partners in their customers and potential customers minds.

Your brand values should extend and align with your suppliers and vendors. Here at Eco-Bags Products we made a commitment to social and environmental responsibility in 1989, and it’s a promise we’ve kept these many years later.

  • Here’s just a few things you can be sure of when you co-brand with Eco-Bags Products:
    • Our bags aren’t made with child labor. In fact, the factory we uses donates profits to a school so that their employees children are properly educated.
    • All of our factories are fair wage, fair labor, and SA8000 certified, and actually go well beyond what the certification entails. Paying well above the local minimum wages and guaranteeing vacation time for their employees.
    • We are a proudly woman owned business!
    • We are a certified B Corporation – so you can be sure that our business treads as lightly as it can on our mother earth.

You’ve worked hard to create your brand loyalty and trust, why would you put your name to a bag that doesn’t align with your values?

Written by: Mollie Mac, ECOBAGS® very own marketing maven. Mollie is an adventurer and a green living advocate. If you have any tips or tricks for her she’d love to hear from you, email her at: mollie(at)ecobags(dot)com:)

 

 

How to go waste free this year

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So, you’ve made the decision to start living more eco-friendly this year, but maybe you’re a bit at a loss for where to start, or maybe you’re feeling discouraged, because you can’t imagine yourself ever being a zero-waster. Well, fear not! We all gotta start somewhere, right? Here are some of the EASIEST changes to make this year that will make a difference.

  1. Just say “no” to straws. It may not seem like a big deal but the in the US alone 500 million straws are used and discarded every day. 
    • Love your straw? Get a reusable one.
  2. Commit to reusable bags. Leave a couple in your car and keep one to stash in your everyday bag so that if you’re just putting up a few groceries after work you still don’t have to come home with a nasty plastic bag.
  3. Eat one more meatless meal a week. You’ll probably pick up a few go-to veggie meals along the way. Yum!
    • According to Environmental Defense, if every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetarian foods instead, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off of U.S. roads. See how easy it is to make an impact?
  4. Opt for a reusable water bottle! Not only is it better for the environment, but it’s also better for your wallet.

Let us know your simple tips for living a greener life in the comments below 🙂

Written by: Mollie Mac, ECOBAGS® very own marketing maven. Mollie is an adventurer and a green living advocate. If you have any tips or tricks for her she’d love to hear from you, email her at: mollie(at)ecobags(dot)com:)

Our “shop better” holiday gift guide

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With the holidays around the corner, we know everyone is feeling a mix of stress & delight. Worried not only about the toll the holiday has on our bank accounts, but also on the earth.

To make the holiday a little less stressful – and more enjoyable – we’ve put together a little gift guide of products that you can feel good about giving.

For the cooks in your life – MV Sea Salt

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These deliciously unique salts are made on Martha’s Vineyard with a commitment to local and sustainable food production.

 

 

For the Type A organizer – Ecolunchboxes

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Ecolunchboxes sell everything you need for a completely zero-waste lunch & snack to get you and your loves ones through the day.

 

For the trendy earth lover – ECOBAGS® + Sarah Lazarovic “buerarchy” tote

This limited edition recycled cotton tote inspires not only the wearer to live a more earth friendly life, but everyone who sees it as well!laz-101-70

For the fun-loving booze lover

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Organic wines and B Corp certified brews are aplenty – plus, you know it’s a gift that they will not only use but appreciate! Gift them a case of New Belgium brews or a bottle from A to Z Wineworks.