April 23, 2019

From the robin’s egg-blue boxes at Tiffany to Coca-Cola’s classic glass bottles, packaging has long played a role in the success of many well-known brands. In fact, it’s become even more important in today’s social media-driven business environment. Along with catching the eyes of passing shoppers in stores, a product’s packaging must also be bold enough to grab the attention of scrolling Instagram, YouTube, and Reddit users. In the last few years, these platforms have been flooded with “unboxing” videos Continue reading

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April 11, 2019

Although Americans have become enthusiastic recyclers in recent years, many people still have trouble telling the difference between what’s recyclable and what isn’t. In fact, approximately 25 percent of the material that U.S. citizens toss in their recycling bins can’t actually be recycled. This video takes a look at the possible causes of this trend and provides viewers with some simple waste-sorting advice: “when in doubt, throw it out.”

Questions:

  1. How does single-stream recycling contribute to the high rate of Continue reading
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March 28, 2019

From metal water bottles to sustainable comforters, green-minded companies have created a wealth of options for today’s eco-friendly consumers. But while many of these products are good for the environment, they’re often too expensive to make a big impact on the marketplace. For instance, a startup named LARQ sells a stainless-steel water bottle with an ultraviolet light in the cap that purifies any water poured through it. Although this product is meant to serve as an alternative to $2 plastic Continue reading

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January 17, 2019

Nearly four years ago, we published a blog post centered on companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat who claimed to be creating the future of food. Both of these startups developed plant-based alternatives to meat that looked and tasted similar to the real thing, an idea which seemed straight out of science fiction at the time. Fast forward to 2019, though, and now consumers can purchase Beyond Meat’s burger patties at any Whole Foods location that manages to keep Continue reading

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November 1, 2018

With about 6,700 hotels operating under 30 brands in more than a hundred countries, Marriott International is by far the world’s largest hotel chain. Last year the company earned profits totaling $1.37 billion as guests from around the globe checked in and out of properties like Sheraton, Ritz-Carlton, and Westin. Over the last few weeks, however, 23 hotels owned by Marriott have not been operating as usual. That’s because since October 8th the employees at these locations have been on Continue reading

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October 18, 2018

Every day, thousands of huge cargo ships criss-cross oceans delivering products to markets all over the globe. But that’s not the only thing these vessels bring to port: they also emit sulfuric gases and fine particles that settle over cities as smog. In order to combat all this toxicity, a couple of years ago the United Nations passed a resolution to reduce the amount of sulfur content in maritime fuels. According to the guidelines, by 2020 shippers must switch to Continue reading

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September 4, 2018

A couple of months ago, we took a look at Starbucks’ plan to eliminate its use of plastic straws by 2020. While the coffee chain remains the most high-profile business to ban straws, several cities throughout the country have joined the effort by passing legislation regulating their use. For instance, last month San Francisco passed an ordinance that prohibits restaurants from distributing any single-use plastic utensils or accessories. The cities of Seattle, Malibu, and Vancouver have recently put similar laws Continue reading

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August 30, 2018

With the summer winding down, people across the country are returning from vacation and settling back into their normal routines. And while many Americans would certainly rather be back on the beach than at work or school, many of the world’s most popular tourist destinations seem happy to see their visitors go. According to the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization, international trips increased by 6 percent in the first half of 2018. Although this amount of growth would usually be Continue reading

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August 17, 2018

If you’ve ever wondered whether it’s safe to eat eggs that have gone past their “sell-by date,” you are certainly not alone. This video looks at the confusing dates that companies place on food packaging and how they encourage consumers to throw out items that are still edible.

Questions:

  1. Why do companies place sell-by dates on food packaging?
  2. What can companies do to make food date labels more straightforward for consumers?
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July 31, 2018

Although people sometimes use “vanilla” as a byword for “boring,” the complicated global industry that surrounds this flavor is far from dull. 80 percent of the world’s vanilla crop is grown in Madagascar, which has the perfect climate for vanilla orchids. These plants only bloom one day a year and must be pollinated by hand, followed by another 9 months of waiting for the fruit to mature into pods. Then comes another weeks-long process of curing the plants using steam, Continue reading

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