Making a difference for the environment when shopping

By Randy Cooray

So what do you look for in a company when you plan to give your credit card a workout? Are you only concerned about the price? Do you only look at the item’s quality? Perhaps you’re all about the label and nothing is better than Versace, Nike or Dell. While many consumers have a wide range of reasons to purchase an item, a company’s reputation is also a quality reason; which can be good or bad depending on the issue.

What can be determined is that more of us are looking at the environment, and how efforts to keep our surroundings greener are growing so rapidly. From a smoke-free environment at the local pub, to private compost heaps at homes, people and companies are making the effort to preserve our earth.

So what are we ripping apart when we take our new calculator home? How many chemicals are in that packaging of printer paper? It’s quite possible that it’s more of a threat than we are led to believe. Some companies – like STAPLES are taking actions to reduce the amount of packaging and PVC in its packaging and products.

One company however is changing that process.

As we come closer to recognizing Earth Day, Staples is once again proud to highlight a very successful campaign of environmentally favourable initiatives. With their partnership of such recycling programs like Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and e-Cycle Solutions, Staples has resurrected millions of metric tonnes that was headed for the junkyard. Here are some numbers regarding Staples’ drive for a cleaner society:

  • Over 2,100 metric tonnes of electronics recycled from Ontario, Quebec and Alberta alone

  • Over 4,400 metric tonnes of corrugated cardboard was saved

  • Over 7,700 pounds of batteries recycled in 2009 - a near 40% increase from 2008

  • Over 2,000 products with environmentally friendlier ingredients on their shelves

With all that and much more, their biggest pat-on-the-back could be their ink and toner recycling program. The company collected 1.3 million last year surpassing their goal of collecting one million cartridges – and this year they have a goal of collecting two million cartridges.

“We want to educate our customers on how they can do their part to help the earth,” says Pete Gibel, Chair of STAPLES Canada Environmental Committee. “We also want to re-assure our eco-conscious customers that we are committed to operating our company and retail locations in a sustainable manner so that they can feel good about shopping in our stores.”

For more information on STAPLES Soul, and ways you can make a difference please visit

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Randy Cooray has been on both sides of the media spectrum working in the Public Relations field after five years in Journalism. From one-on-one interviews with professional athletes, to collaborating on breaking news stories. Randy is now a part of the corporate communications industry.

By Adam

April 19, 2010