Sunday, November 18, 2018

Question for residents of the City of Lake Worth: “Do you really need another flimsy tote or pen?”


The question above is asked by writer Elizabeth Segran, PhD. And below are two highly interesting excerpts from the article datelined Nov. 2nd, which is labeled a “5 Minute Read”.

Why does this matter? Here’s why:


Over and over again we’re told our six-square-mile City — our elected leaders, the administration, business community and the public — need to do more to help save the environment.

We’re told we need to ban plastic straws and ban balloons too by ordinance frightening the bejesus out of little kids thinking their parents will receive a huge fine or even jail time.

We’re told we need to plant more shade trees. And we’re told that municipalities like this City need to contribute more money to help South Palm Beach replenish their beaches. But no matter what this City of Lake Worth does it’s never enough for some. We could always do more.

We’re told that plastic bags are bad too. That instead of using plastic bags to take your purchases and groceries home that everyone should use a tote bag instead.

So think about that for a moment or two. And then wonder if that tote bag is doing all that much to help save the environment.

The two excerpts below were published in the journal Fast Company by writer Elizabeth Segran and headlined, “It’s time to stop spending billions on cheap conference swag”:


Don’t get me wrong. I love a good tote bag, particularly if it’s from a brand I love. I have an NPR tote I got from a pledge drive. I confess that I canceled and re-subscribed to the New Yorker just so that I could get a new version of the tote that comes with membership.

But I’m also drowning in dozens of other totes that brands fling at me at conferences, product launches, and events. Most of them aren’t particularly sturdy or well designed, so they’re not that useful for bringing to the grocery store. And Goodwill doesn’t typically take random, flimsy tote bags. So every few months, I gather them and throw them out.


The article ends with this paragraph that instead of tote bags, all those marketing companies should, “Instead, consider offering experiences” instead:


Several well-reported studies show that millennials [sic; should be capitalized] are prioritizing experiences over stuff. For instance, I’d appreciate a back massage at a conference, or perhaps a yoga class, or a free headshot. I’d even enjoy a good meal instead of a swag bag. Give me a cold brew, awesome donuts, or a burger. If you wrap the event in your branding, there’s a good chance your target customer will remember that experience long after the tote bag is stuffed in a landfill somewhere. [emphasis added]


Those that want to ban plastic straws in this City of Lake Worth need to start ‘offering experiences’ instead, don’t you think? Like maybe purchasing several cases of paper straws and stroll the town and the Beach handing them out to people at restaurants and at events as well.

And maybe remind the public too that a refillable metal canteen is much more environmentally friendly than a plastic bottle of water. This was the message from the nationwide “March for the Ocean” last July with some scattered protests here in South Florida.

One of those marches took place in Washington, D.C. and included Drew Martin and friends from the Loxahatchee Sierra Club, an environmental organization located right here in Palm Beach County. Do you remember the March for the Ocean?

Nobody does. Just like “cheap conference swag” the protest march is no longer of interest to the Millennials.

So if banning things like plastic is a high priority for you then get creative and stop doing the same things over and over again. Like maybe offer experiences your target audience will actually remember.