How to Avoid Being Greenwashed

How to Avoid Being Greenwashed

Going green is more than just a fad. This has become a way of life for many people, and they are taking steps to reduce energy consumption, save fresh water, and recycle paper, plastic, and glass items. The focus on green living does not escape the attention of companies, both large and small. Businesses of all types are looking for ways to promote their products and services as “green” and “environmentally friendly.”

Some of these designations have substance behind it. For example, equipment and products such as light bulbs that get EnergyStar designation meet energy efficiency standards validated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Replacing an older refrigerator, freezer or washing machine with a newer EnergyStar is a smart move, saving you significant electricity over the life of the appliance.

Claims of other environmentally friendly products are less reliable and their value is more difficult to assess. Some of these green claims may actually be questionable validity. How do you rate cleaning products by marking “green” or “nature-friendly”? Many of these products only have green packaging. What about food products that are claimed to be natural? Taste is a good example of how consumers can be misled by claims of naturalness. Take fruit juices labeled “grape juice” containing grape juice, natural grape flavors, and other natural flavors. What exactly is that natural taste, and what is it? Such products can contain apple juice, other fruit extracts, and sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup. All of these things are “natural” …

Going Green and Niching – How Product Managers Survive Decline

Going Green and Niching – How Product Managers Survive Decline

The economic downturn doesn’t last forever, but the boy-oh-boy was hurt when they happened! I am not sure about your product, but my customers who have consulted with me are all trying to find ways to make their products easier for their customers to buy. Are you interested in a few tips on how to do this?

Green Power

We all know that all other things being equal, most customers will choose products that are environmentally friendly (“green products”) than others. Product managers are currently looking for ways to make their products greener to increase sales during difficult economic times.

I believe this all seems very basic to you; However, the real trick for a product manager is exactly HOW you do this. It turns out that there are three things you need to do for your product:

Offer a Broader Range of Green Services: If you suddenly appear and offer one product that you call green, your potential customers might not believe that you are sincere. However, if you add green services to several products simultaneously, then your entire product line will start to look green & feel.

Sharpen Your Message: This is a job that is perfect for product managers. Order your product needs to be “tweaked” so that you work the green component into all of your product communications. No message will convey your message; however, hearing it over and over will make your potential customers believe in your “greenery”.

Find a niche, fill a niche

One …

Garage Sale Hunting Guide – How to Be an Expert Yard Sale Hunter

Garage Sale Hunting Guide – How to Be an Expert Yard Sale Hunter

A few months ago I found a garage sale near my home advertised through Craigslist. The sale was comprised of a few older families that lived in a condominium complex. Since it was a Friday and they were still putting things out I knew I was in a good position to make some good finds.

Unfortunately, within a few minutes of looking around I had decided it was a bust- nothing there that I was interested in- and I decided to leave. Just as I was leaving the sale a couple dusty bottles caught my attention in a dark corner of the garage. I went over to the shelf in the garage and examined a small paper sign that said “Alcohol $2.00″.

My hand reached out for the familiar bottle and firmly grasped it, I studied the label, and quickly fished out 2 $1.00 bills from my wallet, wondering if this was a joke or what. Having worked at a 5 star French restaurant in my college years I knew what I had in my hands was authentic, but I still couldn’t understand why these people were practically giving it away.

I quickly found the woman and quickly gave her the 2 dollars and held up the bottle. She nodded and put the money away routinely and turned to other garage sellers who were making offers on other items. I excitedly raced home wanting to look up what the treasure I had just bought was worth.

It turned out that …

Tips for Limiting Sugar When Shopping

Tips for Limiting Sugar When Shopping

A label may not actually come right out and say it contains sugar because that would be too simple but that does not mean it does not actually have sugar in it. Some ingredients that are listed on labels and actually have sugar include amazake, carob powder, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, evaporated cane juice, honey, and maltose.  It is important to try to limit foods high in these ingredients or to avoid them altogether whenever possible. One way you can do is by buying tea bags or unsweetened tea instead of pop. It will provide you with the antioxidants you need and help your heart and it may even lower risk for diabetes.

Another way to avoid loading up on sugar when shopping is to buy nonfat, unsweetened, plain yogurt and mix in your own fruit and nuts later. This will help you to cut down on saturated fat, and the extra sugar that gets added to sweetened yogurt. Adding in blueberries or granola can also give you an extra helping of fiber and helps to provide the right amount of sweetness and crunch. Something else you can do is to pick mustard over ketchup to put on your hot dogs, hamburgers or other sandwiches. Mustard unlike ketchup has no added sugar and is lower in sodium as well.

We all try our best to buy foods that give us the most nutritional value possible, but when some of these ingredients are added it can make shopping for the best …

Save Cash By Mastering Smart Shopping Skills

Save Cash By Mastering Smart Shopping Skills

Did you know that if you master some smart shopping skills, you can actually save cash? Some people think that there’s really nothing much you can get from practicing a little restraint in the groceries or the mall, but actually, there’s a lot! If you wish to learn about these smart shopping tips, read on and learn about them.

The very first thing you have to do is plan your shopping and keep away from impulsive buying. You can do this by first listing everything you need to buy. Again, list the things you NEED to buy, not want. While already in the store and you feel the urge to buy something not on the list, look somewhere else. Remind yourself that you are saving up and buying that item is not going to help you achieve the goal.

You should also grab the opportunity to buy items during clearance, or sale price, even if you still have some left at home but know would eventually need them. Again, only buy those which you’d eventually need. Don’t buy any thing just because it’s on sale and it’s cheap. If you don’t and won’t need it, don’t buy it. Having said this, you should know the sales cycle in your area.

You should also prefer to buy in larger stores. This is because they offer lower prices than smaller ones due to the volume discounts. Another way you can cut back on shopping expenses is by checking out thrift stores, salvage …