By J.T. O’Donnell
By now, I don’t need to tell you that impressing your boss with money-saving ideas is a pretty smart career move – especially, in a recession. And well, unless you’ve been living in the wilderness, then you also know that ‘going green’ is no longer a fad, it’s a cultural movement that is here to stay. And yet, the number of businesses who don’t bother to look at green alternatives is still pretty significant. Why? I think most assume it’s going to cost more money. I know that’s what I thought. Until I met John from Proforma Simonetta Freelance…
John and I became acquainted through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I’m co-chairing a triathlon fundraising project where 76 Wish Racers have volunteered to have the race of TWO lifetimes, raising money for children with life-threatening illnesses why they power through one of the most grueling physical tests ever! His company donated some very cool, eco-friendly bags. This is what is printed on them:
“Americans use 100 billion disposable bags yearly, over 300 bags per person, and recycle on 0.6 percent of them. Please use this tote to lower your consumption of plastic bags.”
I was blown away by that simple message. So, I sent John an e-mail asking him about how he got into eco-friendly materials and what someone could do to suggest their company use them. His answers were VERY surprising.
QUESTION: How did you get into the eco-friendly promotional products bi?
JOHN: Honestly, we fell into green promo. Proforma has been in the print and promo business for over 30 years. In fact, we were recently named #1 Print Distributor in North America by Print Solutions magazine.
About 22 months ago something happened, we no longer got one and two green product ideas from manufacturers, there was a flood of ideas and new items, and most of it was priced about the same quality to quality as traditional promotional items. So this office started talking about green, and it turned out there was a demand, indeed a need, for these types of solutions in the marketplace. That was when I started writing for greenoptions.com (see http://greenoptions.com/author/johnsimonetta) about the “greening” of the promotional items industry.
It just took off from there, and honestly, I am just trying to keep up with all the innovation. Most of the time it seems my clients know more than I do, but we are learning.
QUESTION: How would you suggest an employee present the idea of using green products to their organization?
JOHN: In terms of getting an office or organization to “go green” I advise them to just look at their current spend in print and promo and simply switch to eco-alternatives for the items they need to buy for normal operations. Do you buy pens? Great, which to corn plastic that is biodegradable. Do you buy uniforms? Great, switch to shirts made from eco-friendly materials. Do you buy plastic cups? Great, switch to reusable mugs, or biodegradable cups, or plastic made from recycled materials. Print postcards, or brochures, or two pocket folders? Great which to FSC certified papers printed with soy or water based inks.
You see where I am headed. Big changes are not necessary. There is an eco-friendly option for everything companies are currently buying. If there isn’t, there very soon will be. And pricing on eco is competitive. One of our clients is a very large car dealership. They wanted to go green and it turned out the bamboo fiber shirts we suggested were $20 less than the shirt they currently were buy, but nicer quality. We say make small changes where you are already buying goods.
Pretty amazing, isn’t it? But then John did me an extra favor…
He sent me a special discount code that will save your company 20-40% off an order with him. HOWEVER, to get it, you have to be a subscriber of our newsletter! You’ll receive an e-mail with the code and instructions for using it. Then, you’ll continue to get our weekly Career SAVE-y newsletter once/week that lists our latest articles and advice as well as 5 smart products and/or services you can use to improve your career. And here’s our promise: We don’t sell your e-mail, we don’t SPAM, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
So, grab that code, check out John’s cool site and forward the info on to your boss. I guarantee they’ll remember you were the one who helped them go green successfully. And if they don’t, you can remind them at your next annual review!