Posts Tagged ‘water’

Smarty Pants: Fairware welcomes guest blogger Shawna McKinley

February 18, 2013

With this post, Fairware begins an occasional series of expert pieces presented by guest bloggers. These people are industry colleagues whose experience and opinions we respect, and we think you’ll be interested in what they have to say. The following post originally appeared here on 27 September 2012.

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Tap #water stations prove how much is saved by ditching the bottle

Oracle OpenWorld’s unique approach to water stations is a compelling case study in water conservation for events. Since 2007 Oracle has gradually moved away from individually bottled water, to initially use five-gallon water bubblers and now exclusively uses water stations that provide fresh San Francisco tap water at 11 different venues.

Four different water station designs have been used:

water1

water2

water3

water4

The net result? A staggering reduction in water waste: from 4,369 gallons of attendee drinking water consumed to 1,020 gallons consumed. This while attendance has increased and no complaints have been received about attendees going thirsty. Just how much water has been saved? Enough to:

  • Serve 50,700 cups of water
  • Provide 420 four-minute showers
  • Flush 2,090 toilets

Furthermore, this has prevented the use of over 56,000 water bottles, which have an additional estimated manufacturing footprint of 13,600 gallons of water!

Oraclewatergraph

Graphic courtesy of Hartmann Studios

Do you know the difference you’re making by providing a smarter, more sustainable drinking water service for event attendees? Dig into the numbers and quench your thirst to make a difference!

Shawna McKinley is Director of Sustainability for MeetGreen, an event-planning company specializing in “green meetings” and based in Portland, Oregon. She lives in Vancouver, and is the author of Sustainable Destinations, a blog that shares information and ideas that lead to discussion and action about sustainable events and sustainable event destinations. Shawna’s favourite Fairware product is the lanyard library.

Water Bottles from China

November 30, 2010

Flickr / jeremylim

We recently had the opportunity to provide support to our local Tedx event here in Vancouver – by creating custom branded glass water bottles for the participants. They’re cool, they’re useful, and… they’re from China (as noted by @kimli on Delicious Juice Dot Com).

It’s the classic conundrum we face everyday in our business – working on sustainability within a global supply chain (more on our Code of Conduct in dealing with our supply chain at the end of the post).

Our key challenge in sourcing is facing diminishing capacity in local manufacturing. Drink-ware is especially prone to this. For example, we have yet to find a stainless steel water bottle made in North America, there are plenty of plastic bottles made here, just no stainless.

And guess what one of our top selling products is? Yup, stainless water bottles. That said, we’ve never looked for a domestic glass bottle supplier… but thanks to @kimli we will now (we’re always looking for local suppliers to help bring to market).

With drink-ware our main aim is to  get folks to kick the disposable habit (a bad habit as noted in Annie Leonard’s The Story of Bottled Water).  While we keep working on the supply side of things, we’re work with our clients to get folks out of single serve water.

Take Tedx Vancouver for example, last year FIJI water sponsored the event, and had their product out for grabs. From what I heard organizers got grief about it (refer back to the Story of Bottled Water if you’re still wondering why).

In making products to change behavior, cool helps – if people like the product, they use it  (we thought we’d do glass because it’s unique and different, just like Tedx even though rumor has it that glass has a bigger footprint than steel).

flickr / jeremylin

But I do want to dispel a key myth out there regarding the enviro-impacts of shipping product around the world. A lot of people we talk to assume there must be more emissions getting product from China than getting product from say… Toronto. Being in Vancouver, a port city, allows us to receive product by ocean freight vs. product being trucked across the country. And ocean freight is about 5.5x LESS environmental impact (in terms of efficiency) than the trucks that haul our goods across Canada. Here’s that concept applied to a bottle of wine from our friends at World Changing.

In short, sourcing products is tough and getting more local is an Idea Worth Spreading for sure. Check out our pals @locobc to check out their efforts to promote all things local. Interested in the standards we use in working with our supply chain? Check our Code of Conduct out or check out the work of the Fair Labor Association.

We got great feedback on the bottles – although I’m not sure we’d recommend glass for a venue with concrete floors in the future! Thanks to @kimli for keeping us on our toes.

Case Study: Aveda Earth Month Online Ordering

October 5, 2010

Client:


Aveda, The Art and Science of Pure Flower and Plant Essences™, was founded in 1978 with the goal of providing beauty industry professionals with high performance, botanically based products that would be better for service providers and their guests, as well as for the planet.

Campaign:


Earth Month – Each April the Aveda network raises funds for grassroots organizations that address global environmental issues. Since 1999, Aveda has raised over $11 million for their partner organizations. This year the focus was access to clean drinking water.

Client Request:


Aveda approached Fairware to quote on Earth Month promotional products that could be sold as fundraisers in Aveda salons and spas. They wanted stylish, quality products that aligned with the Aveda brand and had designed some amazing graphics that advocated a message of access to clean drinking water for all.

Fairware Approach:


1. Product Selection: Fairware sourced stainless steel water bottles and recycled steel I.D. tags adorned with Aveda’s “1 in 7 lacks access to clean water” graphic pictured above. These products looked amazing and were sure to be a hit.

2. Online Ordering Form: We coordinated ordering from salons and spas across North America (plus a few in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Taiwan) through an online ordering form that featured upfront payment and shipping and billing information capture. This saved Aveda head office from coordinating the delivery of product to many different salon locations and did away with invoicing and collection efforts.

3. Program Promotion: Fairware created a multi-message e-reminder campaign to raise awareness among Aveda salons and spas of the program. We also updated these contacts on upcoming deadlines and delivery dates.

4. Customer Service: At any time through the ordering and production process, Aveda salon and spa representatives could contact a knowledgeable Fairware representative via a 1-800 number or email address.

5. Reporting: Through out the program we provided regular reports to our Aveda Head Office contacts to keep them updated on order numbers and progress.

40th Anniversary of Earth Day

February 15, 2010

What is Earth Day celebrating?

Earth Day is held on April 22 each year and marks the birth of the modern environmental movement. On April 22, 1970 twenty million Americans took to the streets and public areas to participate in teach-ins and show their support for a healthy environment. The demonstration was spearheaded by Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin, and Denis Hayes, a Harvard University student.

Of great significance was the solidarity exhibited by varying groups and individuals that had previously been fighting for specific environmental causes (ranging from oil spills, to freeway construction, to the loss of wildlife) and the realization that they had shared values and great influence with a unified voice.

The 1970 demonstration has been credited with leading to the formation of the US Environmental Protection Agency and the introduction of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.

jetalone / Flickr

My, has it grown…

In 1990 Earth Day went global with 200 million people in 141 countries participating. The event has been credited with contributing to the success of the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The global scope and profile of Earth Day in 1990 helped many heads of state feel the pressure to participate. It was also attributed to giving a boost to recycling efforts. (more…)

The high cost of cheap T-shirts

January 19, 2010

Photo: Johnnie Utah/Flickr

This post by Siel Ju originally appeared on the Mother Nature Network.

Learn how that $3 T-shirt could be creating water shortages, trade imbalances and environmental pollution.

In his book Ecological Intelligence, Daniel Goleman argues that even organic cotton T-shirts aren’t necessarily very eco-friendly, since they can still be shipped all around the world to be sewn together in sweatshop conditions before being chemically dyed in a polluting facility. Of course, conventionally grown cotton T-shirts still fare much worse under eco-scrutiny, especially those grown and made in China.

Just how ecologically damaging those “all-natural” T-shirts are has been laid bare, thanks to a feature article in the latest issue of Miller-McCune magazine. In “Can China Turn Cotton Green?” Chris Wood takes a close look at a study conducted by the International Institute for Sustainable Development in Winnipeg, Canada, that drew from an international network of experts to look at the cotton T-shirt manufacturing process.

Read the rest of this article on Mother Nature Network >

Bottled Water: bad for the environment and your health

November 12, 2009

refillnotlandfill_rs

Lately at Fairware we’ve been taking a closer look at the bottled water industry. There are some shocking facts about this product as it relates to your health and the environment.

Contrary to the clean, fresh images in bottled water ads, there’s no conclusive evidence that it’s any safer than tap water. In fact, given lax labeling laws, it seems we know less about what’s actually in bottled water. Combine this with socio-economic concerns surrounding the privatization of potable resources, and like us, you’re probably wondering why bottled water has become so ubiquitous. (more…)


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