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Celestial Seasonings’ Green Isn’t Just for Tea: Who Knew?

Celestial Seasonings pillow-style tea bags are made with natural fiber and no strings attached.

On Tuesday, I blogged about SunChips’ new fully compostable bag. But hey, it’s Frito Lay. They’ve got the bucks to be super green, right?

Then I opened a box of one of my favorite brands of tea, Celestial Seasonings, and there it was. Something I’d seen a hundred times before and it never really grabbed my attention until now.

Ever wonder why . . . no string and no tag?

No, actually, I hadn’t wondered, but now that you mention it. I’d always liked the no string, no tag combination. It just seemed easier to me. Nothing to rip and no staple to mess up my compost pile. But now I was intrigued. I read on.

Our unique pillow-style tea bag is the result of our commitment to doing what’s best for the environment. Because these natural fiber tea bags don’t need strings, tags, staples, or individual wrappers, we’re able to save more than 3.5 million pounds of waste from entering landfills every year!

No strings, tags, staples, or individual wrappers not only means less waste going into landfills, it also means less energy used to harvest raw materials and produce the unnecessary ballast. I also have to wonder if it costs the company less, too.

Once again, here’s a company that took an opportunity turn real, tangible environmental impact into a marketing strategy. I’m particularly impressed that it not only markets its green, but it took the time and energy to actually quantify its waste reduction and use it in its marketing.

On the bottom of the box, it indicates that it prints its boxes on 100% recycled paperboard with 35% post-consumer content. It sports the Ethical Trade logo, which supports fair wages and sustainable harvests in more than 35 countries.

What’s particularly smart is that not only do people in general like companies that are environmentally responsible, but this company is clearly targeting what have been called “dark green consumers,” which are consumers who are more committed than the average person to environmental responsibility. These consumers are particularly loyal customers, which makes them more profitable than those who are more brand-finicky.

By making its environmental responsibility front and center, not only does Celestial Seasonings turn green into a profit-maker, but it also holds onto one of its most potentially lucrative customer segments.

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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