When confronted about the volume of wasted supplies in one episode of Mad Men, Don Draper defends his copywriters, claiming, “They waste paper because they throw out bad ideas.” Needless to say, it creates an issue for agencies that want to be environmentally responsible.
Creative people do need a lot of stuff to get their work done and get it done well: paper, pens, pencils, ink, staples, more paper… For the mythical Sterling Cooper Draper Price advertising agency, the waste is a matter of money. For Thinkso Creative and other real-life companies, concern for the environment is enough reason to reign in consumption. (Although, becoming more conscientious can save big bucks.)
Truth be told, it’s not easy for a design agency to stay green. But there are ways to strike a balance between necessary consumption and smart sustainability. Take the green initiative by introducing some easy ways to lift your office’s footprint. Here’s how we do it at Thinkso:
1. Recycling…and then some. Next to every desk, there is a garbage bin and a recycling bin. We also take those plastics that the city doesn’t collect to an alternative recycling center in Park Slope. We keep a small compost pail on our kitchen counter and transport it to a collection site on a weekly basis (there are pick-ups at several green markets, including the one in Union Square).
2. Reduce. Our dedication to the environment transcends our office. We offer clients solutions for their projects that are sustainable and environmentally friendly, like using recycled paper for example. We also advise them to print only quantities that they really need. Not only does this save some paper, it saves them serious money.
3. Repurpose. Make your garbage bin the last resort. We don’t use disposable cutlery from our take out orders. Instead, we donate it to a homeless shelter to use. Plastic bags are collected and either returned to stores that accept them or redistributed to the office dog owners to reuse.
4. Avoid excess. The statics on plastic bottle pollution are mind-blowing, so we decided to avoid the problem all together. Instead of providing bottled water to our team and guests, we installed a filtration system in our new kitchen. The filtration system will pay for itself – one bottle water costs around $2.00 – and we can pat ourselves on the back for not contributing to the pollution problem.
5. Reuse creatively. We re-purpose our scrap paper to make notebooks. When we moved office spaces last winter, we went to great lengths to reuse things like old letterhead by chopping off the address block and making note pads (we have a lot of note taking collateral here at Thinkso). We free cycled our moving boxes and sold some furniture, equipment and supplies rather than send them to a landfill.
About Thinkso Creative
Thinkso is a design and marketing agency founded in January 2006 by Elizabeth Amorose, Amanda Neville, and Brett Traylor. The agency, located in New York’s fashion district, creates compelling brand identities, marketing materials, and advertising campaigns for clients in a range of industries. Thinkso combines the broad-based strategy and full implementation capabilities of a large agency with the personalized service of a small shop. Visit http://www.thinkso.com to learn more.
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