In November, the United States celebrates a day geared toward reducing waste and promoting eco-friendly practices. In 2012, President Barack Obama officially declared that November 15 is America Recycles Day. In the official proclamation that appears on the White House’s website, the president urges people “to continue their reducing, reusing, and recycling efforts throughout the year.”
Of course, there are many everyday items that damage the environment. For instance, single-use water bottles are contributing to the ongoing pollution crisis. Fortunately, there have been some efforts to keep the containers from being used.
However, other products are just as harmful to nature as those bottles. Most notably, Americans use more than 100 billion plastic bags every year, according to the United Nations Regional Information Center for Western Europe. Achim Steiner, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, believes that the bags must be immediately taken out of circulation.
“Some of the litter, like thin film single use plastic bags which choke marine life, should be banned or phased-out rapidly everywhere-there is simply zero justification for manufacturing them anymore, anywhere,” Steiner said.
Local government agencies are considering joining the cause. NBC New York reports that the New York City Council plans to charge consumers 10 cents for plastic bags instead of having them given out for free. Brad Lander, a member of the city council, explained that the Big Apple took a slow and steady approach to this initiative in order to perfect it.
“We’ve been able to spend six months talking to retailers and small businesses in a productive dialog, doing research, to figure out the best way to do this. There’s something to be said for being first. But we’ve been able to look at other cities to see what the best practices are,” Lander said.
The inclusion of small business owners in the conversation could go a long way toward ensuring that plastic bag usage declines. Company leaders can play a big part in influencing consumer behavior by guiding customers to more eco-friendly practices.
Perhaps the simplest way to achieve this objective is by distributing promotional bags. The reusable totes can ensure that patrons don’t have to ask for plastic ones every time they go shopping. What’s more, the eco-friendly models are more convenient than other options because the former usually has greater storage capacity than the latter.
Even if customers only have one logo tote bag, it will reduce the need for plastic ones. As a result, the U.S. will be a bit greener and pollution will gradually decline.
Building an eco-friendly brand
Tote bags are extremely effective promotional items because they achieve a couple of different objectives. First, the advertisements allow a small business to demonstrate that it’s dedicated to protecting the environment and putting a stop to harmful practices, such as reducing plastic pollution. Consumers will appreciate that a company is going above and beyond to help nature instead of continually harming it.
Additionally, promotional totes can bolster brand recognition as the bags essentially act as mobile billboards. Every time a customer uses the item, he or she will display branded imagery to everyone in a close proximity. This means that consumers who have never heard of a company will see the advertisements, which may lead to future patronage.
America Recycles Day is a great opportunity for small business owners to protect the environment and enhance their brand equity. Entrepreneurs should start preparing for November 15 as soon as possible in order to ensure the holiday is effective in reaching both of those ends.