I purchased a beverage and I lamented that it was served in a standard plastic cup. “Another item in the landfill,” I thought to myself.

Later, I purchased another beverage, this time at a new coffeehouse. I was delighted to see that they used “GreenStripe Eco Products” for their drinks. I inwardly applauded their commitment to provide environmentally friendly products.

When I came home and went to recycle the cups, I learned that appearances could be deceiving. The first cup was a “5” and did recycle in our area, but the “Eco Product” cup was a “7” — meaning that not only is not recyclable in most areas, but it is of mixed origin. In other words, it’s not friendly at all.

It’s easy to give a product or brand a name that has appeal, but much harder to deliver a brand promise that has integrity. And pretending to be environmentally friendly is worse than not trying.

Take a look at the alignment between what your organization appears to value, and what it really does. Which cup are you?

beth triplett


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