Thursday, February 26, 2009

'Beam In' Your Next Keynote: Green Event Technology!

Much to the surprise of many attendees, during last week's 2009 Greening Hospitality Industry Conference in Pittsburgh, keynote speaker L. Hunter Lovins was presented via live interactive video technology, rather than live and "in person".

The virtual keynote of this acclaimed author, educator and sustainability consultant saved conference planners travel costs and lowered the event's carbon footprint. It also nicely reflected the mission of the event — how to green conferences.

We've also seen this live video technology successfully deployed during a roundtable discussion that "beamed in" European business leaders at last year's Sustainable Brands Conference in Monterey.

The technology has improved a lot in just the last few years ago. We believe live interactive video feeds will be a more viable and smart event greening solution as tighter budgets and lowered carbon impact goals continue to challenge event planners.

Read more about Hunter Lovins' virtual keynote here.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

‘Visionary’ humanitarian promotion by U.S. Government

America may be scoring some global points through an outreach and aid program that provides inexpensive adjustable eyeglasses to some of the world’s most impoverished nations.

Joshua Silver, an atomic physicist who taught optics at Oxford, has invented an amazing pair of inexpensive “adaptive eyeglasses” which allow the wearer to set their own site correction by pumping a clear silicon liquid oil into a thin sac in the lense until the focus is right. No doctor visit or testing is required and the glasses correct vision impairment almost instantly. Silver is pictured above wearing his invention.

The glasses aren’t exactly stylish — think early Woody Allen or a 1960’s math geek — but they could help improve quality of life for millions of poor people whose options are limited by impaired site.

In the U.S. and other wealthy nations, 60-70 percent of people wear corrective lenses. But in many developing countries, only 5 percent have glasses due to high costs and limited access to professional eye care.

The glasses cost about $19 to make, but the inventor hopes to cut that by a few dollars as production ramps up. His grand “vision” is to eventually provide eyeglasses to a billion poor people worldwide.

The U.S. Department of Defense has already purchases 20,000 pairs to give away in impoverished parts of Africa and Eastern Europe. Those glasses have an American flag and the words “from the people of the United States” engraved in small print on the side of the frames.

This is an imprinted giveaway at its best — providing something truly useful and underscoring a brand's value. In this case, the "brand" is the United States of America. And in an era where our country's reputation abroad has been tarnished by questionable policies and politics, an outreach program like this may help others see the United States in a positive new light.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Reusable organic cotton produce sacks

Here's a great item that replaces those thin plastic twist-tie bags we're all forced to use in grocery stores to transport our produce, dried fruit, and nuts.

Forget those flimsy disposable plastic bags that end up in the landfill and try these wonderful reusable organic cotton produce sacks.

They help organize the food in your heavier reusable shopping bags. They store veggies and fruit in your fridge. If they start to get a bit nappy with veggie stains and juice -- just pop them in the washing machine and they're good as new. We can put your graphics on them. We've been sourcing these for one of our clients who sells them at the local farmer's market.

Monday, February 9, 2009

82% of Consumers Buying Green, Despite Economy

Four out of five people say they are still buying green products and services today — which sometimes cost more than conventional goods — even in the midst of a brutal U.S. recession, according to a recently released study commissioned by Green Seal and EnviroMedia Social Marketing.

Half of the 1,000 people surveyed buy just as many green products now as before the economic downturn, while 19 percent say they are buying more green products. Fourteen percent say they are buying fewer environmentally green products.

Just 9 percent of respondents say green advertising is their primary influencer. Twenty-one percent of consumers say a product´s reputation is the biggest factor they weigh when making purchasing decisions followed by word of mouth (19%) and brand loyalty (15%).

About one in three consumers say they don´t know how to tell if green product claims are true. One in 10 consumers blindly trusts green product claims.

Consumers are verifying green claims by reading the packaging (24%) and turning to research (going online, reading studies; 17%).

At eco imprints, we've found buyers are as conscious as ever — many requiring documentation on manufacturing processes, materials content, production methods, and country of orgin. Overall, organizations are buying less and going for value, but there is a parallel trend toward purchasing higher quality reusable goods that have a longer shelf life and less impact on the environment.

It's comforting to know that people continue to buy green when the economy is giving so many of us the blues.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

TED Conference 2009 Swag Bag

This year the annual TED Conference celebrated its 25th Anniversary, and it featured one of the coolest and greenest swag bags of 2009.

An acronym for Technology, Entertainment, Design — TED is an annual conference attended by many of the world's leading scientists, academics and business leaders. The agenda is a series of talks, during which big thinkers discuss big ideas. They also have an outstanding website:

TED attracts the "It" crowd of Silicon Valley, as well as Nobel Laureats, politicians, design gurus, writers and rock stars. What these heavy hitters receive when they arrive is a killer conference swag bag filled with goodies. We're not talking about a tote to house logo'd frisbees, hats, or blinking plastic stuff. TED's giveaways includes items like cutting edge tech gear, thoughtful books and DVDs, valuable coupons, and high end messenger bags. TED's swag bag is a way for companies to get their goods and services in the hands of some of the most influential and socially responsible power brokers in the world.

This year's TED Bags (see above) were designed just up the street by our friends at San Francisco's Rickshaw Bagworks. Rickshaw made 1600 bags in 800 color combinations for this year's event. The bags were made of a recycled soda bottle textile. Inside each bag were the following gifts:

•Skype headset
•Long sleeve black organic T-shirt, outdoor jacket, luxury eco towel
•Stuffed Panda Bear
•Various thoughtful earth-themed books and DVDs
•High end notepads and padfolios
•Stainless water bottle with carrying case
•Exclusive TED Gift Guide filled with valuable coupons
•Coupon for a Steelcase chair
•Gift certificate for eco-friendly Shoes
•Organic soap
•Pens, breath mints, and other assorted goodies

Especially in today's economic climate TED's giveaway bag may be a bit over-the-top for most conference planners, but if you're looking to put together a cool, memorable and responsible swag bag for your next conference, we humbly suggest you contact the sustainable swag experts at eco imprints.