Top 5 tweets of the week, 11th-15th December

Here are our top 5 tweets of the week:

Christmas Jumpers are essential at this time of year. However, many get discarded after one use. Discover Hubbub’s campaign on re-designing, altering and making your own jumpers: 

1) In the U.K we spend a dizzyling £220 million on #Christmas Jumpers. It’s time to #GiveAKnit about textile waste. Find out how to alter, transform or make your own xmas jumpers here: https://t.co/z48XNL5NR0 pic.twitter.com/2prezH5KSU

— Hubbub (@hubbubUK) December 13, 2017

The realisation that Marks & Spencer overuse plastic packaging for its apples sparked a lot of backlash. Here is The Recycling Association’s response, and we couldn’t agree more:

2)  Ridiculous packaging!

Totally unneccessary. Whe do apples suddenly need super protection when we’ve been buying them for years. It’s all about premium sales. We expect better for @marksandspencer #dontbuythem https://t.co/0pI73Ta9oE

— RecyclingAssociation (@RecyclingAssoc) December 11, 2017

Need to teach your children about sustainability? Let them help Shaun the Sheep create a sustainable city through this new game:

3) #Christmas is approaching!🎄🦌❄️✨How about curling up on the couch with a warm cup of tea & exploring our free “Sustainable Shaun” game? Go help out Shaun build a sustainable city! ➡️https://t.co/hiqGjhcWGT #ShauntheSheep @shaunthesheep @aardman @SustLearning pic.twitter.com/kiqjbzsxJ5

— EU Environment (@EU_ENV) December 13, 2017

Oxford’s recycling roadshow is the perfect way of how to learn more about this issue. Did someone say freebies? 

4) Our recycling roadshow will be in Bonn Square on 15 Dec from 11am – 3pm. They’ll hand out free food caddy liners, useful items made from recycled material, and recycling bags. And they’ll answer questions about recycling, with an emphasis on extra recycling over Christmas. pic.twitter.com/q1J1LW7PLy

— Oxford City Council (@OxfordCity) December 15, 2017

So apparently recycling a bottle of prosecco can light a disco ball for 14 hours? Sounds like a party to me:

5) Power your #Christmas party with #prosecco! Keep up the great #recycling and that disco ball will keep spinning… #WednesdayWisdom pic.twitter.com/RNDq2B5S5D

— Recycle Now (@recycle_now) December 13, 2017

 

Check back on the 5th January 2018 to see if you’ve made our list.

This week: gender voices, people power, A-Plan apples and Christmas cookies

By Adrienne Robins

There’s been a lot going on these last few weeks, and there’s no sign of it letting up before Christmas.  

As you read this, we’ll be heading back to Birmingham for the REB Recycling End Markets Conference.  It feels like we’ve spent the summer, autumn and now winter waiting for clarification on what China will and won’t accept when it comes to UK recovered materials. So, it feels good to be thinking about alternative markets and taking back control. 

On a less positive note, it was disappointing to see the news about Marks & Spencer’s premium packaged apples encased in a PET cylinder just so that they can fit into a car cup holder. 

For a business that tells us so frequently that it’s doing as much as possible to further sustainability, this seems to be right off brand. I mean, we’ve managed all these years without putting apples in a cup holder! It’s no good telling us PET is widely recycled; all too often councils don’t collect it (and the market for post-consumer PET is challenging). So, don’t create packaging where it’s not needed M&S!  

Which brings me nicely onto the subject of people power. If we don’t like ridiculous packaging, all we need to do is buy a more sensible option. Normally I’d suggest that people are unlikely to make a purchase based on packaging, but with the ocean plastics issue highlighted all over the media, that may begin to change.  

Another area where people power could come to the fore in 2018 is under the GDPR data protection regulations. Did you know, under GDPR the admin cost for requesting to see your data record will be waived. There is a school of thought that says this will result in people making more requests to see the files that an organisation holds. And with those requests comes a requirement to supply the data within a month and a potential operations headache. Our advice – make sure your records are easy to manage. And if you’re an organisation that faces lots of opposition, recognise that this could be used as a weapon. 

Now, here’s something I came across on PR Week: a study that says that the majority of thought leader pieces are written in a ‘male’ voice and so are overly aggressive and not collaborative. Apparently, a more ‘female’ voice would be better in many instances.  

The thing is, I’ve been writing B2B thought leadership pieces for 30+ years. My writing style changes with the brief – but I’ve never thought of it in terms of male and female. Mainly it’s matter of fact. Attributing aggressive/dominant language to a male perspective and collaborative, persuasive styles to its female counterpart is, in itself, negative and contributes to the whole subliminal gender stereotyping that is still evident in many workplaces. It’s fine to say a more collaborative viewpoint would work – just don’t make it gender specific! 

To end, let me introduce you to some lovely Christmas cookies. We decided these made lovely client gifts this year. What do you think – and what have you been sending/receiving (ideas for 2018 please). 

Would this encourage you?

By Alex Bean

Recently, the chief executive of Pret A Manger, Clive Schlee, had asked people on twitter whether a 50p discount on coffee would encourage them to use a reusable cup. 

The people have spoken and out of 5,000 people, 96% said yes. 

He also asked for further ideas of what else would motivate them. 

The main suggestion was the idea of a branded reusable coffee cup being sold throughout the stores. 

Both the discount and the branded cup are being launched in 2018.  

When I first saw the chief executive’s post on twitter, I couldn’t actually think of what would encourage me, I just thought, why would I bring a cup into work with me? 

But thinking about it more, it’s a great idea for coffee lovers everywhere, and for the environment.  

A 50p discount will go a long way in terms of trying to cut waste and improve recycling rates, so I applaud Pret for what it is doing.  

And although I won’t be using the 50p discount as I don’t drink coffee, if it expanded its discount to include 50p off vanilla hot chocolates, then I would 100% be in the store every week.  

 

Top 5 tweets of the week

Here are our top 5 tweets of the week:

With Christmas coming up, it’s time to start putting up the tree and decorating it. While you may have a colour scheme in mind, a fun decoration that also promotes recycling and the circular economy, is  making baubles from bubble wrap and scrap paper. Check this festive idea out:
1)

We recently attended The Recycling Association’s Christmas networking event. We had a great time, so of course one of our top tweets is a post that portrays the fun we had:

2)

Keep Britain Tidy has been providing recycling tips throughout December, and this one is a really cool idea: 

3)

Plastic bottles= furniture? This actually looks pretty amazing: 

4)

The Coca-Cola truck was in Liverpool earlier this week, and gathered a huge crowd, take a look: 

5)

Check back next week to see if you’ve made our top tweet list! 

The Coca-Cola truck- a genius marketing ploy

By Alex Bean

Every year the strangely iconic Coca-Cola truck descends upon various cities throughout December, giving away free mini cans of the fizzy drink. 

But, what is the point of this? How has it become a Christmas event? And why are so many people drawn to a truck? 

These are just a few questions that I wish I could answer. 

In reality, this idea is a very clever marketing ploy, attracting thousands nationally for the past 22 years, to its bright red, Christmassy exterior.  

While I have been drawn to it in the past, recently, I just find it really bizarre. 

It’s not so much the marketing concept behind it, but the fact that slapping a giant Santa on the side of a truck, decorating it in approximately 372 bulbs and 8,772 fairy lights (wow) and driving it around the country creates such a buzz.  

But on the other hand, it’s been happening for so long that I can see why people want to carry on this historical tradition for as long as possible, carrying it from one generation to the next. 

The truck is currently residing in Liverpool, and walking past it earlier today, I could already see that the momentum was gathering.  

Queues, lots of cameras and a huge amount of canned recycling that needed to be collected asap, was already surrounding the site.  

To improve the company’s marketing even more, it’s offering a once in a lifetime stay in the truck. 

During the sleepover, the guests will be able to watch an endless amount of Christmas films, while drinking as much as they like (Coke only!).  

The deadline to enter this competition is the 8th December- so hurry up if this is your dream stay. Mine is Bora Bora, but each to their own.  

While I will never full understand why this truck impacts the UK the way it does, I can see an amazing marketing strategy when I see one. Although I’m still freaked out at how much attention this truck gets and why it does, it is a family event and most people enjoy it.  

So well done Coca-Cola for your genius marketing skills. Maybe next time add an extra fairy-light and I’ll enjoy it more? 

Renting coffee

By Paul Sanderson

Clive Schlee, the chief executive of sandwich shop Pret, asked his Twitter followers how the company could encourage more customers to bring reusable coffee cups to their stores.

One of his suggestions was that the discount given for doing this was increased from 25p to 50p, so that filter coffee would then just be 49p.

This is very admirable and great that he is thinking about how the company can cut down on all of the single use coffee cups it gives out.

Some of the responses were fantastic, including ideas for collapsible cups that were easier to carry around.

But my initial thought was rather than people going to Pret to buy a coffee, why not take the coffee to them?

My own coffee buying habit involves a weekday trip to the wonderful, independent Bold Street Coffee in Liverpool, just by our Ropewalks office. Seriously, try their coffee, it is full of rich, complex flavours.

Once buying my coffee, I take it back to the office and drink it there. Do people really drink coffee on the go? Most of the time it is too hot and awkward to be drinking it while you walk along.

So my idea Clive Schlee, is that you get people to rent coffee. Offices small to large can rent a coffee machine off you and get provided with bags of Pret coffee to fill the machine. Or maybe you provide them with a Nespresso-style capsule solution and they can return those to your store for recycling.

You could charge a monthly subscription price for this and people can use their own mugs and cups.

That way, you still get to sell coffee, people get to drink a nice Pret coffee in their office, and you reduce the amount of coffee cups you send out into the world.

This is more circular economy than linear economy and maybe means you need to think about your business model differently. I guess people will still have to visit your stores if they want a sandwich or one of your lovely choc bars though.

top 5 tweets of the week, 27th Nov-1st Dec

Here are our top 5 tweets of the week:

1.

When it comes to recycling, this girl is a star. Not many people at her age start recycling and helping the environment until later in life, but this post goes to show that its never to early to start. Very heart-warming: 

The fashion industry is a sector that creates a lot of waste, but Ellen MacArthur and Stella McCartney have joined forces to make sure the number of clothes getting recycled and reused increases. Great story:

3.

Struggling on the colour theme for your Christmas tree? Worried about how to cook your turkey this year? Then Marks and Spencer have your back. Its new “Christmas concierge” helps you with all your Christmassy needs:

4.

Since our office is located in Liverpool, it is only right that we show off how Liverpool does Christmas. Introducing the tree of hearts, located in the centre of the city: 

5.

Seeing as it’s the 1st of December, it would be insulting if our final post didn’t come from Santa himself. Let the countdown begin! 

Check back next week to see if you made our top 5 tweets. 

 

24 hours to save the world

By Adrienne Robins

Whether you believe or deny, when it comes to climate change we all need to understand what’s going on and recognise that our actions have consequences. 

But political rhetoric all too often gets in the way. Which is why it’s good to see Al Gore and his Climate Reality organisation thinking outside the box and engaging with musicians, actors and other celebrities in an upcoming 24-hour live broadcast which aims to inform, educate and inspire people to get behind the climate change cause. 

For the USA, this couldn’t be more important and timely. With Trump trumping all over the Paris agreement, individual states are taking matters into their own hands to develop renewable energy solutions and reduce carbon emissions. Why are they doing this? Because, contrary to what the Whitehouse believes, it’s what people want. 

Here in the UK, as we continue with our torturous EU divorce, we need to take some of this people power energy and use it for the good of climate change as we definitely don’t want to drop the climate ball once we finally leave the EU. 

And where better to start than with a 24-hour broadcast that you can dip in and out of to better understand what’s going on, what’s possible, and who you need to be putting pressure on to deliver change. 

Who’s taking to the stage? The Killers, Belinda Carlisle, Billy Bragg – you can find the full list (and sign into the broadcast) here: www.24hoursofreality.org It starts at 11pm in the UK on Monday 4th December. 

We also love that our client, www.carbonfreegroup.com is an active supporter of the broadcast and that their work on decarbonisation will be featured!  

Fairy-light fun with Liverpool Christmas markets

By Alex Bean

I love Liverpool all year round, but for some reason, I love it even more around Christmas. 

While most people wait for the Christmas light switch on, I wait for the Christmas markets. 

This is because I know it’s truly winter when they arrive (besides the freezing weather).  

In Liverpool this year, the council has set up two different locations for Christmas markets, one by St. George’s Hall and another on the Pier Head by the iconic Liver Building. 

I had a wander down to St. George’s hall market and the first thing that caught my eye was a gigantic windmill, surrounded by fairy lights (festive much). It was kind of weird that this windmill contained a nativity scene, but somehow was still festive.  

Looking around I spotted the normal selection of food stands that take place each year, from the multiple German sausage stands to the fudges and the hot chocolate huts.  

Even though this variation of food takes place at every Christmas market, for me it amplifies that the season to be jolly is only a few weeks away. 

All that was missing was a Christmas playlist blasting out Slade and Wham.  

Stalls this year also included an array of woollen slippers, wooden carved statues and skincare products. 

The first thing I thought, apart from how extremely detailed the wooden carved cat statue was, is that there was a stall for near enough every age group. 

Sweet stands, cupcakes, beer bars, and prosecco (which is £3 a glass!).  

I hear that on the Pier Head there’s an ice slide and an ice bar, which makes me even more excited to go and visit the other market in Liverpool next week.  

*Mentally notes to myself to not try and get on the slide when you’re drunk on mulled wine* 

Not only is there a great range of activities, but it’s a good family day out, and I totally recommend it. 

Tip: If you truly want to get into the Christmas spirit, visit the markets at night time as there are millions of fairy lights scattered along the markets and throughout Liverpool City Centre itself. It really feels festive, especially when leaving our office in the Ropewalks area in the city centre, into the cold, dark Christmassy evening after work.  

Now, I’m off to go and get one of those Christmas hot chocolates! 

 

5 examples of how not to store food that might shock you

By Alex Bean

1. Did you know that the best place to keep your apples is in the fridge?! 

Most people, including myself, leave them in the fruit bowl. But according to experts, apples are best refrigerated because they last longer.  

If you don’t like chilled apples, take them out the night before so it’s fresh for the next day.  

2. Tomatoes are for the cupboard, and as far away as possible from the chilly fridge. This is because they stay fresher away from direct sunlight.  

If your tomatoes are currently residing in the fridge, you’re losing a couple days of juiciness, and I suggest you run home and move them ASAP. 

 3. Now… what to do with your eggs? 

My eggs are currently sat at the top of my worktop in the kitchen, away from sunlight. 

However, you’re supposed to keep them in the fridge because eggs last longer at a constant temperature. But don’t keep them in the door, because the temperature there fluctuates so they go off quicker. Keep them at the back of the fridge.  

Sorry to all the poor eggs I’ve wasted over the years because of my lack of egg-spertise.   

4. Ketchup, well isn’t this a bit of a mixed result? 

Usually unopened ketchup goes in the cupboard, which is right! However, once opened, put it in the fridge.  

5. Let’s talk about pasta’s good ol’ friend, Basil: 

If you like your basil fresh, then the fridge is actually the worst place for it. Not only does it dry out quicker, but it can turn the leaves black. 

Instead, cut the stems off, place in a jar of water, and put a plastic bag loosely on the top to maintain quality.  

Although other herbs including parsley are perfectly fine refrigerated, basil is best at room temperature. 

Perk: you can create a quirky decoration for the kitchen.