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, August 22, 2009

Wow! 29% paper towel use reduction at Hunt Valley Elementary School!

About a year ago, an enterprising teacher from Hunt Valley Elementary School, named Ben James reached out to us to participate in the These Come From Trees K - 12 Education Challenge, and to apply for some complimentary These Come From Trees stickers for posting up around at their school.

Ben had seen TCFT stickers posted at the Denver Aiport (yay Denver TCFT-ers!), and was inspired to investigate on his own. He ended up posting TCFT stickers on all the paper towel dispensers in all the classrooms and bathrooms at Hunt Valley Elementary (a member of the Fairfax County School District in Virginia) and emailed the other teachers letting them know what the stickers were for, and to introduce them to the kids. (That's a picture of the dispenser in Ben's classroom.)

A year later...18 trees and $840 in paper towels saved!

Well, wouldn't you know it, Ben emailed us the other day to let us know that they were doing a post-analysis on their conservation efforts, in particular, looking at how their paper towel conservation worked.

The year before Ben posted the TCFT stickers, Hunt Valley used 129 cases of paper towels--with eight rolls per case and six pounds per roll, that's 6200 pounds of paper!

This year, the school ended up only using 95 cases--34 fewer than last year! Even better, 34 cases of paper towels equals out to 1800 pounds of paper towels. With about 100 pounds of paper coming out of a given paper pulp tree, that means that Hunt Valley saved around 18 trees worth of paper in one year, with the help of TCFT stickers. Not bad, guys!

What's more, according to Dotty Lin, Assistant Principal at Hunt Valley, that savings of 34 cases meant real dollars and cents too... $840 in total they didn't have to spend on paper towels. Not bad for 50 stickers--which were free to Hunt Valley as a K - 12 educational organization. (But even if they had paid...$10 for 50 stickers turned into $840 in paper towel savings in a! Not a bad deal!)

Real world testing, shared.

This well-documented case study was great news, because our own testing that provided the "15%" number that we quote on the site was a pretty lightweight, week-long test at a coffee shop--and while we've wanted to do a more meaningful study to gauge impact of TCFT stickers, well, the day job keeps getting in the way!

This data from the folks at Hunt Valley is great proof of These Come From Trees stickers contributing to a successful conservation strategy, whether at a elementary school, high school, higher education institution, or business organization!

I would encourage you to forward this blog post to your facilities team at your office, school, and so on, and see if they can't use TCFT stickers to reduce unintentional overuse of paper towels at your place of work / study!


Dan Ackerman Greenberg said...

Very cool, Pete. To make that even stronger it would be cool if you could test the effect of the sticker vs. no sticker on the same user population. Like put it up in half the bathrooms somewhere for a month and use the non-stickered bathrooms as a control to see which one had greater change in usage, given the same users.

Would also be cool to corporatize the stickers and have them pre-built in to towel dispensers right from the factory...

Pete Kazanjy said...

Always thinking, Dan ; )

1. Would love to do a more robust study, but, again, the day job somewhat intervenes! This study by Hunt Valley gets us directionally there, though!

2. Corporatization would be key. Problem is the conflicting incentives. The folks who sell paper towel dispensers also, you guessed it, sell the paper towels that go in them. Razor and blades business model. So they don't exactly have an incentive to reduce overuse of the towels.

However, you do see movement towards this with the dispensers that are motion-activated and have time-outs that make a user *really work* to get another length of towel out.

Subscribe to the blog, buddy!

Mr. J said...

...and it continues at a new school. Thanks for the resupply for Cunningham Park, Pete!

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shredding Houston said...

Posting stickers on every corner would be a great idea for more people will be able to see this post.Having an active participation in this kind of campaign will be an advantage for you can be able to raise awareness of the public when it comes to paper towel consumption.

shredding Austin said...

Not just with paper towel usage, we can definitely find ways to cut back with paper consumption especially in schools. It would be best to make young people aware of the possible effect of not caring for out natural resources. Thanks for the info!

Christina Rodriguez said...

am i the only one who sees the big, giagantic hole behind this logic? its a good idea... but are stickers not made from trees as well? just a thought.

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Sajid Dogar said...

Very nice blog. Something very natural and very green to environment. This is really a great idea to educate young people that simple thing they will do by using paper towel is a big returned to reserve our mother earth for their future. Great Blog

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Anonymous said...

RE: Christina Rodriguez

Given the saving in trees in comparison to the small amount of paper used for a single sticker, your observation hardly seem astute.

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