In a recent Forbes blog Amy Westervelt tells the reader of the Company Method and why it is the Cleanest Company in America.
Westervelt writes that the cleaning product company Method, proved that a company could reuse and recycle and still turn a profit.
Westervelt reports that Method has been packaging its soaps, detergents and cleaners in post-consumer recycled plastic for years now, something it was told it would never be able to do. “We’re in an industry where the industry standard is that products are packaged in plastic bottles,” says Method founder Adam Lowry. “But we wanted to use post-consumer recycled [PCR] plastic and were told we couldn’t do it, that we couldn’t get the clarity we’d need and we wouldn’t be able to find enough of it. And we did. If little Method can do it, then the excuses other companies are using–that you can’t find good enough quality PCR, or enough of it–are not true.” See more of Amy’s blog here in Forbes.
I too had a few things to say in the comments section on Wetervelt’s blog.
Firstly, it is critical that consumers support those corporations and products like Method that do not increase risk to human health and the environment. Not just for the obvious reasons but we have seen what happens when consumers reach for healthier choices.
And while we all agree policy, business practices and consumers all have important roles in the shift towards change when it comes to human health and the environment all paths toward change need to be traveled . There is a very real reason countless billions are invested in marketing to consumers from ages 8-80, and thats because consumers as a force are intensely powerful.
Food is one great example why it is so critical to vote with our dollars the Department of Health and Human Services reports that food and beverage advertisers collectively spend $10 to $12 billion annually to reach children and youth.
More than $1 billion is spent on media advertising to children, and another $4.5 billion is spent on youth-targeted public relations. $3 billion is spent on packaging designed for children.
We have seen what can happen when Americans push back on marketing forces with healthy choices.
One example is that U.S. sales of organic food and beverages have grown from $1 billion in 1990 to $26.7 billion in 2010. Sales in 2010 represented 7.7 percent growth over 2009 sales. Experiencing the highest growth in sales during 2010 were organic fruits and vegetables, up 11.8 percent over 2009 sales. (Organic Trade Association)
Today more farms are under the National Organic Program and produce agricultural products through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.
Certified Organic bans, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering.
And while not a perfect system, and one that certainly needs to be protected, this process contributes towards not only protecting the environment but human health as well.
All that has been accomplished in a few short years because of the amazing power of the consumer.
When we support healthy choices in the market place -markets change we see this on every level.