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What Does “Green” Mean To Scrapbooking?

Today is Earth Day (in case you’ve been living an environmentally friendly life in a cave and hadn’t seen the saturation media coverage), and the whole concept of “green” and “environmental impact” is becoming something that no industry can ignore.

What does this mean for the scrapbook industry? How are scrapbook businesses integrating “green” into their businesses – or how can they in the future?

Of course, many digital scrapbooking advocates will be happy to tell you that digital is the ultimate form of green scrapbooking. Since there are no physical products to manufacture, package, and ship (we’ll skip discussing the impact of computers themselves) the environmental impact is minimal especially if pages aren’t printed out. But since dedicated paper scrapbookers are unlikely to give up their beloved hobby and go digital just for the sake of the environment,we’ll stick to discussing the paper scrapbooking market for the purpose of this article.

The official theme of the CHA-Winter 2009 trade show & convention in Anaheim in January was “It’s Easy Being Green: Discover The Possibilities”. CHA wanted to help its members start moving to capture a share of the growing “green” market. Despite CHA’s initiative, in the time I spent on the show floor, I didn’t see very much at all being done by scrapbook companies to appeal directly to that market.

So who has dipped their toes in the pool that is the “green” market? Let’s take a look at some examples:

Tinkering Ink – At CHA-Summer 2008, Tinkering Ink (now owned by Creativity Inc.) debuted a limited edition collection of papers called bECOming Green that were printed on 100% recycled, 30% post consumer waste papers. Due to its limited edition, the line is not available any longer at major scrapbooking retailers. Visit Tinkering Ink at their website for more information.

Cosmo Cricket – This company announced on April 13th that all of their paper is now FSC-certified. The certification means that all of the company’s papers (including the fabulous Snorkel and Girl Friday collections that were Scrapbook Update hot picks from CHA-Winter 2009) come from forests that are managed to meet stringent environmental and social impact requirements. More information on Cosmo Cricket is located on their website.

Piggy Tales – In January 2008, Piggy Tales announced that they were going “green” by producing all of their paper (including the collection pictured below) using certified recycled paper and organic (soy) inks. This information does not seem to be widely used in advertising their products to consumers at the point of sale (such as the product listings for them at Scrapbook.com). More information on Piggy Tales is available at their website.

Piggy Tales

Die Cuts With A View – At CHA-Winter 2009, Die Cuts With A View debuted a paper stack called “The Green Stack” that is printed on paper that contains 70% post-consumer recycled paper but is still acid and lignin free. There is also a coordinating set of chipboard that is 70% post-consumer recycled paper.

K & Co. – This company has taken a slightly different approach to green marketing, pairing helping the environment with helping homeless families. K & Co. has established a fund in conjuntion with Habitat for Humanity of Kansas City that accepts donations to plant trees at houses built by Habitat to create a greener, healthier environment for the families who live in them.

Retailers can get in on the “green” market too…

Two Peas In A Bucket – For Earth Day, Two Peas is running a promotion that gives away a free reusable tote with a $10 minimum physical product purchase (while supplies last). The bag (pictured on the banner at the bottom of this post) looks like it has their name on it. If so, it should be a great marketing tool for them by helping spread name recognition as people who receive the giveaway use it in their local communities.

Scrapbook.com – For the three days this week running between Earth Day and Arbor Day, Scrapbook.com is promising to plant a tree in Honduras for every order that is placed. They participated in planting 4,000 trees already recently and are promising to plant more in honor of their customers that place orders over these two “green” holidays.

Obviously, these two retailer promotions are being done in conjunction with the Earth Day holiday season, but similar promotions wouldn’t have to be used that way.

For instance, the reusable tote promotion could easily be adapted to a local scrapbook store. Customers who bring their own bags in could be given a small coupon discount (such as $.25 for each bag used). It saves the environment and saves the store money. Or the store could get reusable totes printed and either sell them or give them away with a certain purchase amount, and then offer a small discount for bringing them back to use when the customer shops. The bonus of that plan is that hopefully the customer will use – and get seen – the tote in other places around town.

Has your scrapbook business gone green? What are you doing to help the environment – and your marketing? Use the comments of the post to share with Scrapbook Update’s readers!

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