Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cakevertising by Amnesty International

Thanks to our friends at TrendHunter Magazine for turning us on to this tasteful and poignant ad campaign celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Human Rights Organization, Amnesty International. The series features a cool new promotional concept: "Cakevertising".

Amnesty and its agency, DDB Budapest, created ads featuring a series of cakes with symbolic photographic images of people in danger. On each cake, a slice is being removed from the rest of the cake, visually separating a person from an unacceptable, unsafe situation.

The tagline reads, “You can do more than celebrate. 60 years of the universal declaration of human rights.”

Not all Cakevertising is so serious. Cakes and cookies with detailed logos and photos can be a fun and tasty way to get your message across. We have a great source here in San Francisco that makes beautifully detailed edible swag for product launches, anniversaries, and special events. They may not last a long time, but people enjoy them, remember them, and they're one giveaway that won't end up in a landfill.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

How You Eco

I wanted to turn you on to How You Eco. It’s one of our favorite new websites covering the green movement – and they featured an interview about me founding eco imprints in today’s edition.

How You Eco is a community of innovative green-minded folks and a great resource for new ideas and more sustainable approaches to work, home, and play. It launched just a few months ago, but is growing virally and could soon become the Facebook of green social media. Check it out.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Free Foldable Furniture

We have a current fascination with furniture made out of cardboard.

We're designing our own booth for an upcoming green conference and of course we want it to be as sustainable as possible. Among other things, we plan to create some DIY modular cardboard shelving units. These pieces should not only look cool — but they need to be sturdy enough to hold some weighty sustainable swag product samples.

As part of our research we discovered the wonderful work of Nicola Enrico Staubli. This contemporary Swiss architect has designed a line of furniture based on folding cardboard. His work is very inspiring, and we believe there could be some relevant applications in green meetings, events, promotions and outreach.

What we find most interesting and endearing about Staubli's approach is that he is not selling the furniture; in fact he is not actually selling anything. His free designs are meant to be constructed by the masses (yes, that means YOU).

Printable templates are downloadable from his Foldschool website. He has several sweet designs for kids pieces. Staubli says the thinking behind foldschool is "To restore design to one of its original missions: to provide a product at an affordable price through a smart manufacturing process." Presumably, by smart manufacturing in this case he means elbow grease. Bravo!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

USB Rechargeable Batteries

Put your logo on usb batteries that save money, reduce toxic waste and can be used re-used hundreds of times.

The USB batteries from eco imprints are the ultimate inexpensive clean energy promotional item to power small devices at work, home, or on the go.

Eco Imprints enables you to add a small imprint on each battery, and at only about $5 per battery, they're a great deal compared to conventional disposables. They work like a conventional battery and recharge by pulling off the cap and inserting into an open USB port on your laptop, PC, games console, other appropriate electronic device.

Each year, 15 billion batteries are disposed of globally — the equivalent to line of batteries to the moon and back! Normal alkaline batteries are mostly disposed of in landfills, which create significant environmental issues and long-term healt concerns. As the casing corrudes toxic waste such as mercury, cadmium and lead are released into the eco-system, harming our soil and water and exposing these chemicals to future generations.

These USB batteries are tested for up to 500 charge cycles to guarantee optimum reusable performance for everyday devices and needs.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Connect The Dots Benefit Party This Friday!

With a battered economy, a diving stock market and the epic struggles of prominent businesses and financial institutions, philanthropic spending is down and non-profits are feeling the pinch.

But Connect the Dots, an inspiring non-profit that’s working to green other non-profits, refuses to let the precarious economy get them down. They’re throwing a party.

This Friday in San Francisco’s Mission District, you can experience good music, good people and good times for a good cause at the benefit concert for our friends at Connect the Dots. See details here.

Connect the Dots conducts outreach and works with the nonprofit community to reduce their environmental footprint so they can focus on their social missions. Their programs help non-profits deal with waste management, energy and utilities, and purchasing policies so they can function more sustainably.

If you’re looking to green your non-profit, or have some extra cash to support a wonderful program that’s helping an underserved community in tough times, Sustainable Swag urges you to make the connection with Connect the Dots.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Tips to Save Water During California's Drought

Despite recent rains, the Govenor of California just declared a statewide water emergency. Our fine state is in the midst of a three-year drought.

Sustainable Swag is feeling the drought personally. Early last month, every household in our town was put on immediate mandatory water restrictions. For our family of four, that means we can consumer no more than 100 gallons of water per day.

The small coastal community where we live is off the main water grid. We have our own humble system of reservoirs and water tanks to serve about 2,000 residents, but they are almost bone dry. The picture above shows the bottom of our main local resovior before we got some wet weather a few weeks ago.

Each day in households around the country and across the globe, we allow a lot of water to flow down the drain. Many experts are predicting that water shortages will be a critical longer-term problem in the coming years. The restrictions our household is dealing with will be faced by many others in the near future.

What are some ways you can incorporate water conservation into your daily lives? Here are some quick water facts to give you an idea about how much water you can save if you make minor adjustments:

•Reduce your shower time from 10 minutes to 5 minutes and you will save 25 gallons. (we only shower every other day now).

•Switch to showers instead of a bath and you will save another 25 gallons of water. We save all our shower water and use it to flush the toilets.

•Make sure you turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth. For a family like ours we can save up to 20 gallons at 5 gallons each. If you brush your teeth twice a day, that’s 40 gallons of water a day!

•Instead of using a hose to water your garden, put out buckets when it rains and reuse the rain water. Lose the lawn and consider landscaping your yard with beautiful drought-tolerant plants.

•Fill a pitcher with water and keep it in the refrigerator so you are not waiting at the sink for the water to get cold.

•Always make sure to fix leaky faucets, toilets, and underground pipes. Up to 20 gallons can be lost by a event a small faucet drip.

•Hand wash your dishes, but use a dish pan and don't keep the tap running. If you must use a dishwasher, use a low-flow model.

•Cut back on laundry use, or use a water-saving front load machine. A conventional washer can use up to 50 gallons on a SINGLE LOAD!

Just making small adjustments to your daily habits can add up quickly and make you feel good about helping solve our water challenges.