These Come From Trees Sticker

These Come From Trees Sticker
This is the sticker we're hoping can save a couple hundred thousand trees a year. Amazing how the right message at the right time can make the difference.

Quick Facts about "These Come From Trees"

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Flyte Enterprise Cleaning Services Helping Their Clients with These Come From Trees Stickers

Flyte Enterprise of British Columbia, Canada is a janitorial and cleaning services company that provides products and services to hundreds of businesses around British Columbia.

But Darin Sherpit, Flyte's head of marketing, sees their business less about just selling products to businesses, but instead, providing them with the services they need to have a safe, healthy workplace.
One part of that is focusing on keeping things "green," whether that means using less harmful cleaning agents, or helping his clients reduce waste .

Darin found the These Come From Trees project by googling around, and approached us to see about being able to purchase a large number of stickers for deploying at all the bathrooms they service, and on all the paper towel dispensers that they sell.

If you think about this for a minute, this is a pretty impressive statement. The traditional business model of janitorial service companies is to charge for the service, and the products deployed at their clients, plus a markup. So on the face of it, deploying These Come From Trees stickers in clients bathrooms wouldn't seem to be in the best interest of a janitorial services company.

This was exactly the sort of conflict of interest that we had thought about when first conceiving of the project: the right people to be deploying this message are Georgia Pacific and Kimberly Clark--right on the paper towel dispenser!

It certainly is impressive to see Flyte looking long term in their relationships with their clients, and as a part of that, deploying These Come From Trees stickers to help their clients cut down on overuse of paper towels.

Palo Alto Medical Foundation Deploying 1000 These Come From Trees Stickers

We've talked in the past about how it's not just coffee shops, bars, and restaurants that can benefit from "These Come From Trees" stickers, but commercial enterprises too.

The other day, we were emailed by Melissa Stai of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, a large healthcare organization based in the California Bay Area.

As Melissa told it, the Foundation is always looking for ways to make its operations greener and more efficient, and when she was walking around the Stanford campus, she had seen a These Come From Trees sticker up in a departmental bathroom, and wanted to bring the benefits of These Come From Trees stickers to the Foundation.

PAMF has more than 50 buildings around the Bay Area, so they decided to buy 1000 These Come From Trees stickers to make sure they would get great coverage and get the most value out of their conservation efforts!

If there are any Palo Alto Medical Foundation clients out there, and the next time you swing by, you see a These Come From Trees sticker up in a bathroom, snap a pic with your cameraphone and email us!

"Pause Points" and Conservation

Melissa over at the Better Living blog stumbled onto the These Come From Trees project the other day, and has some great commentary on These Come From Trees and the concept of a "pause point" or a moment wherein a person is brought back to the moment to make them briefly think about what they're about to do, rather than just mindlessly going about it.

She had recently read the book "Mindless Eating," which is all about how the human body and mind, and the restaurant industry, is geared to encourage accidental, "mindless" overeating.

Melissa drew the connection between the techniques related in that book to dial back unintentional overconsumption, and those that she implements in her own life (she puts her paper towels way up on top of the fridge to make it more difficult to get to, thus ensuring she really needs one before she grabs one), and the sort of gentle reminder provided by These Come From Trees stickers to create a "pause point."

She does a great job of summing it up here:

We all know that paper napkins and towels come from trees, just like we know we shouldn't eat an entire bag of potato chips. But not all of us are mindful all the time, and these stickers create a pause point for us - they provide a physical, visual cue which remind us to stop and think before proceeding with our intended action.
I also love her comments on the design and phrasing of the sticker, in that that was something we put a LOT of time and effort into:

I like the way the message is phrased; it's not saying "Hey, I can't believe you didn't bring your own cloth napkins, jerk, why are you destroying the environment by using these disposables?" Instead, it's just a gentle reminder to consider the resources consumed in the item about to be used.
Great comments Melissa. A friend of mine had recently read "Mindless Eating" and told me about it, but I didn't even draw the connection. Thanks for connecting the dots!

Check out the rest of the post here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Kisco Senior Living Deploying 500 These Come From Trees Stickers

Kisco Senior Living is the award-winning operator of more than two dozen senior living communities all over the United States.

Kisco recently purchased 500 These Come From Trees stickers to help them reduce paper waste in their bathrooms at their facilities.

As Kathleen Davis of Kisco puts it, "We are going to put these stickers on paper towel dispensers, as part of a broader greening initiative."

In addition to the These Come From Trees deployment, and an exhaustive recycling program, Kisco's accounts payable department has implemented a 100% paperless invoices, with scanning and email substituted in place, as has the payroll department.

It's great to see These Come From Trees gaining traction in the most unexpected places. We've always talked about how organizations of all sizes that operate bathrooms, cafeterias, and copiers, among other paper-consuming projects, could find value in These Come From Trees stickers.

I never even thought about how senior living communities are a great fit, but in retrospect, it makes perfect sense, for much of the same reasons why offices and dorms make sense: lots of people in one place, lots of paper towels, and repeated messaging.

We're really excited to see how this work out for Kisco, and what sort of paper reduction they see!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Eloqua Software Deploying These Come From Trees Stickers

Eloqua makes marketing demand generation software that my company, VMware, uses.

Well, it was a total "small world" moment when Joel Rothman who works at Eloqua, emailed in after buying a stack of These Come From Trees stickers, asking if I still worked at VMware.

Apparently I had mentioned this in a previous blog post (which, wow Joel, you certainly read far back into the TCFT blog archives!) that I worked at VMware, and Joel knew that we were a client, and reached out.

The cool thing is, I just circled back with Joel, to see how things are going at Eloqua with their These Come From Trees stickers, and sure enough, he says they're up in all the bathrooms at the offices, and that people like them, and they're seeing an impact.

Let's hear it for low tech solutions helping out even high tech companies!

Logan Airport? Wow! Beantown Loves TCFT

I just saw this in my Google Alerts for "These Come From Trees".

Tamara Kinsky flew in to Boston's Logan Airport, and when she went to the wash up in the bathroom...well...guess what:
After an exhausting 6 a.m. flight to Boston this past Friday, I decided to freshen up in the bathroom before heading out to rental car hell. Every paper towel dispenser had a sticker slapped on it that said "Remember...these come from trees." Got me to immediately cut down on my paper towel consumption.
Pretty cool! Glad to see that they work in airports too! Read all about Tamara's thoughts on the project in the rest of her post!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Clorox Deploying 300 These Come From Trees Stickers

Clorox is a big household cleaning agent and chemical producer--an idea that doesn't really strike most people as being all that "green."

However, more and more they've been changing their tune it seems. They recently launched a line of plant-derived cleaning products called "Green Works" and have been sponsoring interesting "cleaning" and "greening" projects lately, like this really neat "dirt removal mural" project in San Francisco.

Within the Clorox's organization they're making changes too. They have a newly formed "Environmental Sustainability Office," located at their offices in Oakland, California.

Their office approached us, and ended up purchasing 300 These Come From Trees stickers to deploy at their corporate campuses all over the bay area.

Good thing These Come From Trees stickers are laminated to hold up to cleaning, because something tells me the Clorox bathrooms are pretty spic and span!

Let's hear it for a big old enterprise stretching its green muscles!

We have a new Facebook Page! Come be our "Friend"!

I put together a new "These Come From Trees" Facebook page, to replace the Facebook Group that we were using before.

The goal behind doing this is that Facebook Pages allow people to become a "fan" of something, and when they do that, the fact that they did so shows up in their friends' "News Feed."  

This project has benefited greatly from online viral transmission, and we'd like to keep that up.

So take a second, and become our "Fan" on facebook!  Just click through, and look in the upper right hand part of the page for a link that says "Become a Fan."


Community Generated "These Come From Trees" Stickers

I was in Noe Valley in San Francisco yesterday, and was surprised to see a handful of "Community-created" "These Come From Trees-style" reminders next to paper towel dispensers, napkin holders, and what not.

I have to be honest, I was pretty impressed by the level of artistry involved in some, and seeing them next to a These Come From Trees sticker made me really appreciate the difference between something that is designed for mass reproduction and scale (that is, the These Come From Trees sticker) and something that is done as a custom, one-off design.

I think both approaches really have their place and are valuable, and we've always said from the get go that when going through the design process of the These Come From Trees sticker, we kept store/coffee shop/restaurant owners in mind as much as possible.

Beyond even realizing that a friendly remind can help people reduce their unintentional overuse of paper product, not everyone has the time, skills, or inclination to go and create a custom-designed reminder.

If you do, though, wow, more power to you! But if you don't, then it's nice to have another option, like the These Come From Trees stickers.

I guess, not to get all "business school" on this topic, it's a classic "build versus buy" issue.

Variations on a Theme

Some of the approaches taken in the signs were interesting to note, because they diverged, or cranked up, elements that we have in the These Come From Trees sticker.

The first one pictured above was interesting, because it thanked customers for conserving napkins, not really making an overt environmentalism argument, beyond the term "conserving" which connotes that, and the cute little birdie. There's no explicit connection between the napkins and the environment--but I think the message gets across just fine. Plus, that's a cute little bird.

This second one was also interesting, because it took a more stern tone. It was at a Starbucks on 24th street--and clearly was present with the blessing of the Starbucks employees, because it looked like it had been there for a while.

It was more overt, because it correlated paper towels and trees (which is obviously something that the These Come From Trees sticker does), but it also makes a strong instruction to the reader to "Please take only what you need."

And really, I don't think that's over the top. It's certainly more vocal than the These Come From Trees stickers, but I don't think it goes too far. Plus, because of the neat graphic on the sign, of the tree embedded in the towel.

That is, it's nothing like the tragedy of a sign at San Francisco airport, that we talked about previously when describing the differences between "Ask versus Tell" and how a nice reminder, in situations where the viewer/reader has choice whether to comply or not, will win out over a stern admonition.

It was also neat to see that the person had laminated the sign as well: something that we discovered in our initial alpha testing at my house--paper stickers don't like cleaning solution! This is why These Come From Trees stickers are laminated. We don't want them to turn into nasty-looking graffiti, because that doesn't help anyone.

Get Viral to Get Out There

One thing that really stood out while looking at these custom signs, was that they didn't have the secondary, viral call to action that the These Come From Trees stickers do.

That is, the message in addition to "Hey, don't forget, these come from trees, my friend" is aimed at people who want to dig deeper. That is "Help spread the word. Get yours at"

That call to action, of course, coupled with the publishing and hosting platform afforded by Blogger, and the payment platform service afforded by Paypal, is what really makes this project interesting, in my opinion, because it's self sustaining through that viral message.

Every day we get a couple hundred visitors to the site, and because we have Google Analytics set up, we see how they get here. About 50% come either by keying in "" straight into their browser, or by doing the same in Google.

The offline+online component has really made this more than just a plaything, but instead something that could be much bigger, of which I'll do my best to blog about soon.

And that doesn't have to do with us so much as with YOU, all the people who come visit this site, email it around, join our Facebook group, and get stickers of your own for your community.