Organic Coffee – Green Office Products

Eco friendly choices in coffee and office break room supplies include:

Fair Trade Certified Coffee Fair Trade coffees help farming families by paying a guaranteed fair, above market price for their harvest, thus providing them with a decent, living wage. This is accomplished by avoiding middlemen and dealing directly with farmers and their cooperatives. Not all Fair Trade Certified coffee is necessarily organic. However, Fair Trade Certified does require strict environmental stewardship such as prohibiting the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the most hazardous pesticides. All Fair Trade coffee must be certified by TransFair USA, an independent non-profit international agency that monitors and certifies Fair Trade products in the United States.

Certified Organic Coffee Certified organic coffee is grown without synthetic pesticides or other prohibited substances, according to U.S. standards for organic production and certified by an agency accredited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Organic coffee farming relies on sustainable crop rotation, and is mainly shade grown, producing delicious, pure coffees.

Rainforest Certified Coffee The Rainforest Alliance, an international nonprofit conservation organization, works in partnership with eight Latin American conservation groups to ensure that coffee farms meet a set of exacting standards that protect forests, waterways, soils and wildlife as well as the rights and welfare of workers and local communities. The standards require ecosystem and wildlife conservation as well as agro-chemical reduction. They also verify that workers have access to basic human services, such as health care, education, dignified housing and just wages. On average, workers on Rainforest Alliance Certified farms earn twice the local minimum wage. Farms that meet the standards are awarded the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal. Look for the Rainforest Alliance Certification logo with a small green frog on the packaging.

Green Office Products: Reduce, reuse and recycle office supplies. Supply office break rooms with biodegradable plates, utensils and eco container cups and lids.

Increase Sales With Strategic Alliances Or Partnerships

Formal joint ventures or what is now called strategic alliances are common for larger businesses where one business cannot handle a specific project, does not have expertise in a particular field or needs help with a new product. However by uniting forces with one or even two other organizations, these innovative firms can divide and successfully conquer the project. The results are increased sales and additional loyal customers.

Some examples of successful strategic partnerships or alliances include CISCO/IBM; CISCO/;; and not let us forget ATT/Apple Phone. In the book, Strategic Alliances: Three Ways to Make Them Work by Steve Steinhilber, he shared that CISCO through its strategic alliances increased overall revenue by $4.5 billion. Yes, you read right billion not million dollars.

With so many small businesses to single office home office (SOHO) firms being established, this proven strategy of uniting with another company just makes common sense. However, because of the fear that working with a perceived competitor might be damaging, those folks who could dramatically benefit the most quite often ignore the idea of such a strategic partnership.

What I know to be true is this is a proven way to increase sales, expand market presence and truly be recognized as an innovator. During the last 10 years, I have established numerous strategic alliances and most of them have been beneficial.

My first strategic alliance was with Laura Novakowski who I meet at a conference where I delivered a keynote to over 150 executive coaches and consultants. After my presentation, she purposely came up to me to introduce herself. She was a nurse with a MBA located in southeast PA and I was a sales professional, public educator with a Masters in Instructional Design. However from that initial connection, we shared conversations, wrote an e-book together, co-authored a monthly Ezine (Power Choices) and helped each other with marketing to actual facilitation challenges. We have made joint sales calls since that first encounter. Laura continues to be a strong strategic partner and a great friend.

More recently I have united with another proactive business professional Theresa Valade. We have known each other for several years. During one of our regular catch up meetings, we realized that we both shared some similar target markets and both had different contacts. After several brainstorming meetings, we conceived a specific joint marketing plan and already have a couple of organizations interested.

In reviewing why my these alliances have worked, I realized three key elements were present in each and everyone. First, there must be shared positive core values. If you and the other small business owner have different core values, then this is a deal breaker. One of those key values is commitment to the relationship.

Second, each person must be willing to do 50% of the work at all stages. When a strategic partnership is one way, this will not work. For example over the years, other consultants who wished to work together have approached me. They wanted me to do 100% of the marketing and selling and they would do the facilitating. The profits would be split 50/50 and this demonstrates someone who is one way.

Third, results must be measured. Unless you set benchmarks and monitor your progress, this strategy will not render the results that are possible.

Strategic alliances can and do work provided you get out of your own way and find others who share the same values as you. Just think of it, instead of you just pounding the pavement, attending all those business to business (B2B) events, now you have another person working with you. Bottom line is you can reach more people in less time and quickly increase sales.

Computer Recycling And Conservation By The Electronics Industries Alliance

Better to recycle than dump old computers

People normally discard their outdated electronic equipment including obsolete computers. While the technology may have become obsolete, the computers and other electronic equipment may still be of use to others. If not, and disposal is inevitable, it’s better to recycle these computers recycling rather than just discarding them.

Vibrant Second hand market for old computers

It’s estimated that a person will keep their laptop for just 3 years before deciding to buy a new one. Cell phones, on the other hand, are generally replaced and disposed of within 24 months. Most electronic equipment including computers, printers, monitors and other peripherals can be refurbished, recycled or donated to schools and charities.

For some electronic equipment, there is second-hand market, particularly for items such as laptop computers, digital cameras and cell phones. These devices can be quickly sold off at considerable value.

The Electronics Industries Alliance (EIA)

The Electronics Industries Alliance (EIA) companies have created numerous programs which help in recycling computers and other electronic equipment. These programs are designed specifically to help people by giving back to the community and charities.

Many schools, charities, underprivileged citizen groups and church programs benefit from these programs. They help both the environment and the community. You can also receive tax benefits when old computers are donated to charities or such programs. To find out more about charities that need old but functional computers, search the Internet or inquire about them at your local county offices.

Many computer parts can be recycled

Many parts of computers can be recycled and used in other products. Theses companies will recycle the glass, plastic and metals and use them for their next generation of equipment. This helps them to lower their manufacturing costs as well. Its time that people become responsible and accountable for their actions, especially when it comes to computer recycling.

It’s very important that people recycle their electronic and computer equipment, rather than just dispose of these devices in a land fill. Many of the computer parts include toxic substances such as mercury and lead which can leach into underground water supplies.

When these elements leak from the computer and enter the land fill, it can have dangerous consequences for the environment. These elements can usually be recycled instead of just discarded.

Strict guidelines by lawmakers are becoming more common

Many of the EIA companies follow strict guidelines which have been laid down, to ensure that computer equipment causes minimal damage to the environment. Nevertheless, there are still many companies that are lax about recycling computers and electronics devices. They also outsource the recycling to countries where the laws for recycling aren’t as stringent as they are in the states.

As state lawmakers and government become more and more aware of possible damage to the environment, they are enacting laws that are very specific and stringent about recycling and these directly relate to the disposal of electronic equipment and the hazardous materials that they contain. There are also many bans in effect, especially for equipment that contains mercury or lead. The European Union has also enacted new laws concerning computer recycling.