Day 2010 is fast approaching, and the next few weeks will see a
flood of activities and events as nearly one billion people across the
globe prepare and plan for what organizers hope are “a billion acts
Of course, Earth Day is about more than one day – April 22 – and for
40 years the event (now the largest secular civic event in the world)
has focused on mobilizing individuals, communities and businesses to
become consistently engaged and active in the environmental movement.
And while Earth Day events are taking place in communities
worldwide, many notable brands are also committing to action. Big
businesses such as eBay (the world’s largest seller of
re-useable consignment) recently launched a massive campaign backed by
its eBay Green Team initiative that focuses on
empowering consumers to make green purchasing decisions through the
promotion of what it calls its “sustainable commerce experiences“.
However, making a commitment to truly sustainable and
business practices on “Earth Day and Every Day” (to borrow the
EPA’s Earth Day slogan) requires going beyond the hype – it requires
vision, commitment and investment – and it’s something small business
does very well.
Making a Difference – One Small Business at a Time
Small businesses and entrepreneurs make up half of the nation’s
private workforce and likewise consume half its energy sources. But they
are also the mother of all invention – and possess the flexibility,
agility and local footprint that many larger companies do not, giving
them the potential to reap a competitive advantage and large gains from
environmentally-friendly business practices.
Case in point, here’s an example of a phenomenal “green” small
business success that started life, as many small businesses do, at the
The “LunchSkins” Story
Three mothers (calling themselves 3greenmoms), appalled by
their families’ plastic sandwich bag use (and the country’s – estimated
at more than 20 million a day), created “LunchSkins”
a company that produces and sells a unique product – a colorful,
reusable, dishwasher-friendly sandwich and snack bag.
In just one year, 3greenmoms estimate that they have saved more than 12 million plastic baggies from landfills. They
have also committed to donating one percent of sales to local charities
and, perhaps most illustriously, have attracted highly-targeted brand
promotion from influential media big-hitters Martha Stewart and
O- The Oprah Magazine.
Not only is the LunchSkins product itself developed with
sustainability in mind, 3greenmoms are also committed to
minimizing their carbon footprint across all aspects of their business. According to their Web site, they use recycled
materials for packaging and promotional materials and operate a
paperless billing system. When it comes to the workplace, 3greenmom
have installed compact fluorescent bulbs and low-flow faucets, and each
partner either cycles to work or operates from home-based offices.
All relatively simple business choices, but they combine to create an
alignment between a product and brand strategy that stresses the
simplicity of making green choices every day at work and at home.
The Many Ways of Being Greening your Business