The problem with summer almost being over is we lose our talented (and probably under paid) interns to school.  So I asked Tiffany Franquemont, our resident account service apprentice from the the University of Missouri, to research and write a post about what green marketers need to know in getting people to recycle.  The bottom line: It HAS to be convenient.

Here’s Tiffany…

Tiffany Franquemont, MIZZOU Account Service Apprentice

Tiffany Franquemont, MIZZOU Account Service Apprentice at Park&Co

For a few days now, I’ve been searching Google trying to find companies that encourage recycling and what they are doing to get this message across to consumers. I found Coca Cola to be the perfect example.

Did you know that Coca Cola makes T-shirts out of its own recycled soda bottles? Neither did I. In fact, I didn’t even know that the beverage company had its own sustainable fashion line. The line is called “Drink2Wear” and it includes not only T-shirts, but tote bags, bags, caps, purses and notebooks as well and they are all made from recycled plastic bottles, with slogans such as “Make Your Plastic Fantastic” and “Rehash your Trash” displayed on them.

main_photo_products_case_studiesI love how Coca Cola uses something as simple as a T-shirt, as a way to remind consumers how recycling a few plastic bottles can help protect our environment in the long run. This got me thinking about other ways that companies can get the “recycling” message across to consumers.

I just read an article in Advertising Age about cause marketing and why it’s surviving the recession. According to a study from Opinion Research Corp., 76 percent of consumers are willing to pay more at the cash register for environmentally friendly products. So, how can we get people to recycle so that other companies can create these cool, green trends for us to buy?

Here are five things we have found in getting this message out—

  1. Provide incentives
  2. Make it convenient
  3. Add value, such as support for a cause
  4. Make it simple
  5. Educate the younger generation

Here are some examples of companies that use these as a way to get its target market to recycle—

  • Verizon Wireless has a cell phone battery recycling program for customers to join to help protect the environment. Verizon also participates in the Call2Recycle Program, which is designed to educate the public about the need to recycle batteries. Verizon Wireless also has a HopeLine Program, which collects no longer used cell phones and either restores or recycles them. With the money raised from the sale of the restored cell phone, Verizon donates cell phones to non-profit domestic violence shelters.
  • Best Buy gives incentives to consumers for recycling efforts. The company charges $10 to recycle any item with a physical screen, and in return, each customer that recycles a television receives a $10 gift card.

To sum it up, you should recycle so that companies can design and produce environmentally friendly fashions for us! Oh and in case you were wondering where to buy Coca Cola’s sustainable fashion line… Wal-Mart is the place to go.

Thanks Tiffany.  Great job!