November 12, 2019

Major conglomerates like Procter & Gamble, Kimberly Clark and Georgia-Pacific earn more than $31 billion annually from toilet paper sales. But while this industry is certainly lucrative, it’s not exactly innovative. After all, one of the few significant developments these companies have made in recent decades is to sell larger rolls. Brands such as Charmin and Quilted Northern treat their products like commodities, meaning that they compete primarily based on price. By concentrating on value, the biggest names in toilet Continue reading

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October 10, 2019

In 2018 Americans spent an average of 27 minutes commuting one-way to work, an increase of about two minutes since 2009. While that may not sound too significant, it causes commuters to spend 20 more minutes per week on the road. That adds up to 17 additional hours a year compared to just a decade ago. In total, the average American worker spent 225 hours commuting in 2018, amounting to more than nine calendar days. 

Analysts attribute this recent Continue reading

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September 6, 2019

So far this year nearly 50,000 fires have been detected in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest, the most recorded in almost a decade. According to international experts, the majority of these fires are not simply natural occurrences. In fact, a 2016 report from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization found that cattle farmers were responsible for 80 percent of deforestation in Brazil. These enormous agricultural operations often burn rainforest in order to clear land for cattle grazing. Experts believe that Continue reading

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September 3, 2019

In the days before e-commerce, department stores like Macy’s and J.C. Penney were the ultimate shopping destinations for millions of consumers. But with Amazon now dominating much of the retail world, these companies can no longer attract the same crowds as they did in their glory days. While Macy’s recently fell far short of its second quarter sales estimates, J. C. Penney has lost a total of $101 million so far in 2019. 

In order to make up for Continue reading

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July 26, 2019

For major online retailers like Amazon and Walmart, few matters are more important than quickly shipping products out to customers. But while free two-day shipping has largely become the norm in e-commerce, all those packages moving across the country can have a major impact on the environment. This video looks at the ecological effects of rush shipping and how retailers could seek to limit its use in the future. 

Questions:

  1. In what ways does rush shipping harm the environment? Continue reading
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Although share prices of Uber have not dropped significantly since its terrible first two days, the ride-hailing company is still a long way off of its initial $120 billion valuation. Its competitor Lyft has had a similarly unimpressive IPO, disappointing many investors who hoped both companies would debut strongly on the market. But while these firms are performing well below Wall Street’s expectations, one new tech stock is dazzling shareholders and making competitors pay attention.

Since hitting the market Continue reading

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If you’ve never seen a tiny Smart car puttering around the streets of your town, then you’re certainly not alone. The American public have taken little interest in these subcompact, battery-powered two seaters, with the German automaker selling less than 1,200 of its Fourtwo model in 2018. That’s why Smart’s parent company Daimler recently announced it would stop selling the car in the U.S. and Canada after this model year.

“Micro-cars” like these “make sense when you have small roads Continue reading

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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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