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Inspiring Change One Person at a Time

Sometimes we think we have to change governments and corporations in order to see environmental change, but change is just as powerful when it happens one person at a time. And sometimes it’s easier to do. 

About a month ago, I made two posts about the environmental efforts of SunChips, a snack food company. I had become excited when I discovered, quite by accident, that one of my favorite chips was packaged by a company with a deep environmental commitment. It’s always nice when you discover something that you love anyway has a secondary environmental benefit. Makes me feel better about eating junk food. 

Yesterday, I ran into a guy who was eating a bag of them. I joked, “Hey, did you know that SunChips’ packaging is one-third compostable?”

He immediately perked up. “Really? I didn’t know that. Cool!” 

Then he added thoughtfully. “I enjoy using the environment. But I don’t know much about saving it. I drive a diesel truck.” 

I immediate saw an opportunity to encourage a change in thinking, even if just a little. “Well, think about this way. You offset your diesel emissions every time you buy a bag of SunChips.” 

A big smile broke across his face. “There you go!” 

Did that comment turn a diesel truck driver into an environmentalist? Of course not. But there is a good chance he’ll at least think about composting the next time he buys a bag of chips. Maybe he’ll even feel good about doing something for the environment. It’s a seed, and like all seeds it will sprout if it’s watered. Who will come along and water that seed for me? 

Are YOU planting seeds in the people around you? 

Like this post? See all my “Greening Print Marketing” posts. 

 

Written by Heidi Tolliver-Walker

Heidi Tolliver-Walker has been a commercial and digital printing industry analyst, feature writer, columnist, editor, and author for nearly 20 years. She is known for her meticulous research and no-nonsense perspective. In addition to having written thousands of industry articles for top industry publications, she and Richard Romano have been the face of the well-respected industry research firm The Industry Measure (TrendWatch Graphic Arts) for many years. In her more than 13-year tenure with the firm, she has written countless reports on digital printing, 1:1 (personalized) printing, Web-to-print, personalized URLs, and other hot industry applications. She is also a long-time contributing editor and columnist for Printing News, for which she writes two monthly columns, including "Personal Effects," which features monthly analysis of 1:1 (personalized) printing case studies. She is also the author of three titles for the National Association of Printing Leadership: Designer's Printing Companion, Ink & Color: A Printer's Guide, and Diversifying Via Value-Added Services. As a small, niche publisher (Strong Tower Publishing), she is active in utilizing these technologies in her own business, as well.

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  1. I don’t understand the 1/3 compostable. Does that mean that 1/3 goes away in the compost pile while the other 2/3 remains to be sorted out?

  2. Russ, SunChips bags are made of three layers (see link to original post). It is only the outer, printable layer that is compostable. So it’s a step in the right direction, but because the other two layers are noncompostable and cannot be sorted out, the end result is that the bag itself is not compostable at all. Ironic, isn’t it? Once the company figures out how to get the other two layers compostable, then the bag can actually avoid the landfill. Until then, it’s just good marketing.

    Vince, if the edible bags taste anything like the edible chips, I’m all for it!

    — Heidi

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