Earth Day Revisited – Sustainable Package and Product Design

Earth Day Revisited - Sustainable Package and Product Design

Earth Day began in 1970 by Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara. With emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, Gaylord identified an opportunity putting environmental protection onto the national political agenda.

Despite exponential increases in disposable and single use products and packages in the marketplace, forty five years later Earth Day has succeeded in becoming an environmental holiday. The annual event has been successful in raising the general public’s environmental consciousness, but businesses have been slow to go beyond a recycling bin in the break room, especially in package design and testing. Protecting our planet is everyone’s responsibility, and that includes manufacturers, corporations, mom ‘n’ pop businesses and your own workplace.

Making an environmental difference at work can be tough and there are always plenty of excuses to slack off. But it is imperative to concentrate on solutions to your product and package choices and test them to ensure effectiveness. Look at one of the best examples of corporate responsibility –– Patagonia. Sure, their products may be expensive, but they do a great job of accounting for the social and environmental costs to operate the company and bring their product to you.

In the spirit of sharing ideas and philosophies, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and his longtime writer, Vincent Stanley, have chronicled the history of their corporate responsibility and evolution in their book, The Responsible Company

The items in the book’s environmental to-do checklists are surprisingly easy to implement and applicable to a wide range of organizational roles and levels of influence beyond package and product design and testing. Most of their ideas will save your company money, and implementing any of them will result in a happier, more responsible and enjoyable workplace.

Get started now, review the checklists which provide many ideas you can implement at the office or in your package and product designs today. Contact us for help improving your product or package performance, ruggedness, or environmental impacts. Westpak’s package and test engineers have been helping companies achieve their package and product reliability and performance goals for nearly 30 years.

Let this year’s Earth Day act as a reminder to use your influence on your companies product and packaging. A few tweaks and some testing may just reveal you can improve the environmental impact while increasing protection and reducing cost.

What have you done to take responsibility for the social and environmental repercussions of your products and packages? Take a few moments to comment and we’ll give you a discount on your next test here at Westpak!