How To Go Green: Office Edition

There are tons of ways to green your office at no cost to you. And let’s face it, with the holidays looming, who isn’t looking to save money right now? We’ve compiled a list of 5 tips below. Following even just a few can make a difference – not just for the environment but for your wallet as well!

1. Print Responsibly.
Start by evaluating everything you print on a daily basis. Are you only printing what you need? Are you using recycled paper? It’s amazing how much useless information we all print, but the first step is to take it all into account and remember to print only what we need and use recycled substrates whenever possible.

2. Go Vinyl Free.
Take a look around your office right now and gather everything that contains some sort of vinyl (binders, folders, reports, etc.). Not only is vinyl almost impossible to recycle, it can also be harmful to your health. Did you know there’s a better option? Reduce your dependence on vinyl and Go Low-Carb today.  

3. Bring reusable utensils and packaging.
No need to use disposable cutlery when you can easily bring your own silverware for lunch. It’s much better for the environment and more cost-effective than using disposable. The same goes for the way you package your lunch. Choose reusable lunch bags over paper and aluminum water bottles over plastic and feel good about reducing your carbon footprint.

4. Install energy efficient lightbulbs.
This is probably one of the easier tips to pull off, if you haven’t already. It’s a win for everyone, your boss will save money on the electric bill and you can feel better about reducing your energy consumption.

5. Turn off all computers and lights.
At the end of the day (or anytime you know you will be out of your office for an extended period of time), make sure to turn off your computer and lights. Every little bit helps and you wouldn’t believe how much energy and carbon emissions you can save by remembering to do this daily.

Is there anything we missed? Share with us below how you gave your office (or home, bedroom, etc.) the green treatment!

Visit TreeHugger.com for a plethora of resources on going green.

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Are Corporations Really Committed to Green?

Are corporate environmental sustainability efforts a joke? A majority of consumers and even executives seem to think so.

In a study released last month by Gibbs & Soell Public Relations, a large majority of consumers and executives seem to doubt the commitment of corporate green efforts. The exact percentages of consumers and Fortune 1000 executives who believe most or all companies are committed to “going green” came in at 16% and 29% respectively – much less than half for both.

What’s the reason for this perceived lack of commitment? Executives would like to push at least some of the blame off on consumers, with an astounding 71% claiming they believe that consumers are unwilling to pay a premium for eco-friendly products. Additionally, 78% of executives believe it is due to lack of return on investment and only 34% of executives surveyed believe it is due to a lack of commitment from senior leadership. Meanwhile, survey after survey shows consumers re-affirming their willingness to go eco-friendly even if it’s at a higher price point, as long as the products are comparable.  So what gives?

All things considered, the main issue at play appears to be lack of communication. With green notions still being a relatively new concept, many companies are still learning the best way to effectively deliver this message without being accused of greenwashing. There is a fine line between marketing actual sustainability efforts and inflating them.

With the recent environmental disaster in the Gulf, it is only natural that consumers will question the true commitment of large corporations more now than ever before. Corporations can overcome this challenge by being honest and willing to “walk the talk”. Transparency is key to winning the “green game” and the companies making these green claims need to be willing to prove their efforts. As Ron Loch, VP of Sustainability for Gibbs & Soell says,

“As long as companies are transparent in their communications and don’t overstate the social and environmental impact of their efforts, they can avoid being painted with the greenwash brush. It gets back to the need of really taking inventory of what is happening throughout the organization and then weaving that into a compelling, credible and defensible narrative.”

Read the original article.

Learn more about Green Books N Binders’ green commitment.

From PURLs to Profit

pURLs are personalized URLs, not to be confused with these types of pearls!

In addition to Variable Data Printing, another form of one-to-one marketing is PURLs.

PURLs, or Personalized URLs, are website URLs that are customized with a specific prospect’s information. They often contain the prospect’s name as part of the URL and are a great way to target your marketing campaigns.

To be more specific, personalized URLs are custom web pages created for and directed towards the end-user, or prospect. When the prospect visits their specific link, the website is tailored to that person. The possibilities of customization are vast. You can include any information you have on your customer on this webpage: age, location, interests, occupation, etc. The more custom, personalized content you create, the more effective the campaign will be.

Often used in conjunction with direct mail pieces, pURLs are also perfect for use in email marketing campaigns since the link can be easily clicked from the email. This gives your prospect instant gratification and provides for instant capture of lead information. Even better, all of the activity from this specific webpage can be tracked, giving you an idea of where your users’ interests lie for future marketing campaigns.

One of the best things about pURLs is the “not-so-silent P”: Profit. A marketing piece that is much more targeted will yield more information, better results (and higher profits) than a generic link that is sent to everyone.

Multi-touch marketing campaigns are essential to increase not only your marketing ROI but also your company image. Simplifying and quantifying the marketing process is a key component for success and pURLs allow for just that.

TIP: Always be sure to work with a printer that has experience developing these types of campaigns so you can rest assured it will be done right.

Variable Data Printing: An Overview

Variable Data Printing, also known as one-to-one marketing, is a form of printing in which unique data (text, graphics or images) is printed on each piece. It is achieved through digital printing.

How it’s Used

VDP is one of the most effective methods to use when implementing any direct mail or promotional campaign. Customizing each printed piece with personalized data adds a special touch to an otherwise generic mailing.

Why VDP?
1. Options

With Variable Data Printing, there are endless customization options. You can personalize a piece based on whatever information you have: your recipient’s age, location, marital status, gender, etc.

2. Profitability

It is ideal for small or large companies looking to get more bang for their buck (and let’s face it, who isn’t these days?) VDP campaigns are typically shorter print runs and because they are so targeted, they render higher response rates than mass mailings.

3. Eco-Friendly

VDP is inherently green. Unlike printing offset, it doesn’t take more energy to personalize a piece through digital printing – the process is essentially the same, just different data is used. Therefore a shorter print run is needed, resulting in less energy used and reduction of waste. Also, since mailing addresses can be printed directly on the piece it eliminates the need for a label!

The piece below is a Variable Data marketing piece we recently created. As you can see, the front is customized with the recipient’s name and the top right corner has data-specific text that pertains to this client.

The Proof
As is mentioned several times, variable data printing increases response rates. Wikipedia reports that the returns of variable print vary from double to 10-15 times the rate of generic pieces – pretty impressive.

The bottom line is, variable data printing is a great way to reach your customers and show them that you may know more about them than they think (or realize).

The key is to find a printer experienced in VDP who can guide you through the process, especially if it is your first time. After your first successful variable print campaign, there will be no going back. Not only that, but the door is also open for even more customization! pURLS (personalized URLs) and unique email addresses can be created using the same type of technology – but we’ll save that discussion for next week…

GBB’s Green Guide for the Eco-web

With the ever rising popularity of eco-initiatives there are tons of informational sites available on the World Wide Web. However, a lot of these sites can be misleading or may contain conflicting information, at times confusing more than informing. In an effort to keep you on the right path, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite “green” resources. Check them out below, we promise you won’t be disappointed!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/green/         
Let’s face it, who hasn’t heard of the Huffington Post? For breaking news on everything eco, this site is our go-to area to stay updated on green happenings.

http://inspiredeconomist.com
This blog focuses on people, places and ideas that promote positive change. With tons of informational posts on CSR, conservation and sustainable printing (just to name a few) you can stay busy for hours on this site.

Visit http://inspiredeconomist.com/tag/sustainable-printing/ to see all posts on sustainable printing.

http://www.treehugger.com
Treehugger is one of the best places to visit if you want to know what’s happening in the eco-community right now. Dedicated to being a “one-stop shop for green news, solutions and product info,” this site is definitely top notch in the eco-community.

http://www.greenamerica.org
Green America is a national non-profit organization dedicated to promoting sustainability in all aspects. If you want to learn how you can take action and make a difference, this site needs to be your first stop.

Also, visit http://greenfestivals.org to learn about (and see if you can attend) Green America’s joint effort with Global Exchange to produce sustainable conventions. Green Books N Binders will be exhibiting at the D.C. Show, October 23-24th at Booth 429 so you don’t want to miss it!

http://blogs.whattheythink.com/going-green/
Read Managing Editor, Peter Nowack’s blogs to stay on top of the green wave. With over 15 years experience in environmental marketing, you can trust he knows what he’s talking about. With frequent posts, Peter does a great job keeping his readers informed and knowledgeable.

http://printgrowstrees.com/
Created by the PGAMA, “Print Grows Trees” is more than just a website. It’s an educational campaign filled with fun facts about how print really does help grow trees and encouraging everyone to promote the fact that print is good!

Since there are so many great sites out there, it is inevitable that we may have left some out. So if you know of a great green site we forgot, leave a comment and let us know the URL and what makes it YOUR pick.

What They Think Review: No-Vinyl Binders

Low-Carb Binders have been reviewed again, this time by What They Think: Going Green Managing Editor, Peter Nowack. See what he had to say:

Read the full article.

Get more information about Low-Carb Binders.

Sustainability Pays Off

There is a widespread belief that ‘green’ products must cost more. In many cases this is true and recycled products are often priced higher than their more environmentally harmful counterparts.

So why is this? It is not always because a recycled product costs more to produce (in fact, in some cases it is the opposite). The reason is because ‘green’ products are touted as a more responsible choice (in essence, a better offer), and with this perception of value comes the ideology that it must cost more.

Since an eco-friendly product contains this perceived added value, many companies know that consumers will be willing to pay a premium for these “better” products – which they do.

However, when talking about print, this is just the opposite. Printing sustainably is often more affordable and reduces costs, usage and energy, thereby allowing for more competitive pricing. 

Herein lies the problem: How does one change the broad misperception that ‘green’ products always cost more? Education through advertising is one way. Competitive pricing is another. At Green Books N Binders, we do both. We always compare our prices to non-recycled counterparts and have found that in some instances, our costs are typically the same (if not lower!) than these products.

It is always a struggle to get consumers to believe that you can go green, and save green at the same time – but it is actually true – just take a look at our product lines!