Happy Earth Day

In honor of Earth Day 2011, I thought I would take a minute to remind you of a few ways that we have taken steps to be greener and more environmentally conscious. 

  • Our catalogs are printed on paper that uses mixed recycled content.
  • We are installing new energy-efficient lighting throughout our Rhode Island factory, and fluorescent lighting is already in place in all office spaces.
  • We recycle just about everything that can be recycled.  Tons of cardboard and paper, in addition to scrap parts and even awards that were used for engraving practice.
  • We even recycle heat.  We capture the heat from our die presses, filter the air and use it to heat our factories.
  • I’m not sure if you know, but the satin in our ribbons originally comes from wood pulp.  That makes our ribbons biodegradable.
  • Finally, our largest commitment to the planet is our decision to put in a wind turbine to power our Rhode Island factory.  Yes, the process has taken much longer than anticipated, but it will be installed in 2011!

Hodges Takes Part in Rhode Island Environmental Summit

This past Wednesday, Hodges Badge Company’s Vice President, Jane Sousa traveled to Washington, D.C. to take part in Rhode Island Energy & Environmental Leaders Day.  Hosted by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s office, the day brought together members of Rhode Island’s environmental and energy groups with national leaders from Congress, the EPA, Department of Energy, Department of the Interior and the Council on Environmental Quality.

Given our company’s interest in green manufacturing and clean energy, not to mention our wind turbine in-the-works, we were honored to be included in the discussions with such high level policy makers.  Among the highlighted speakers were Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, Senator John Kerry, Senator Jack Reed, and Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the EPA.

Discussions covered topics ranging from current research at URI and Brown on the changing state of Rhode Island’s ecosystem and the Narragansett Bay aquaculture, to opportunities for green jobs, to federal programming and funding available to the state’s businesses and organizations for environmental projects.

When I asked Jane what she took away from the summit, she said she felt good about Hodges’ efforts to install the wind turbine, given the serious consequences of carbon pollution on Rhode Island’s environment.

“We’re doing our part, but there are many more things available [besides wind power] to help Rhode Island businesses preserve environmental resources” she added.

While the Leaders Day was a unique event, Hodges Badge will continue to pay close attention to local environmental policy issues leading up to the October installation of our wind turbine.   And of course, you can count on the blog for updates!

Update: Senator Whitehouse’s newsroom has put up a photo gallery of the event http://tinyurl.com/3almo3y

Why Catalogs?

When Internet-based shopping started becoming a major component of retail purchases, many people predicted the demise of the catalog.  While Hodges has been on board the online surge (our new website is still in the works- you’ll see it soon, we promise!) and many of our customers order online, we still create seven new market-specific  catalogs each year.

So why are our catalogs still in demand? 

  • You can take them with you, or keep them on hand for a reference at your fingertips. 
  • People still share our catalogs and pass them among friends. 
  • Show committes, organizations and groups may meet to decide their ribbon and award order outside of an office setting.  Last I checked, a lot of barns were still waiting for wireless internet access.
  • Many online orders are still placed with a catalog in hand.  This may be because it’s easier for customers to peruse a wide variety of products in print than online.
  • Catalogs are getting more environmentally friendly by the day, ours included.  According to the American Catalog Mailers Association, more paper is recycled than any other material, and the paper industry is a leader in using renewable energy.

Given the points above, we realize catalogs are not for everyone.  We update our mailing lists daily to ensure we are not sending duplicates or copies to customers who have requested not to receive them. 

So what do you think?  Do you enjoy getting our catalog or does it end up in the recycle bin?  We’re open to your comments!

Hodges gets a visit from Senator Whitehouse

Yesterday we were very fortunate to have a visit from U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).  Senator Whitehouse was interested in finding out more about local uses of alternative energy and our company’s planned use of the wind turbine, which is scheduled to be operational by October. 

Speaking with Senator Whitehouse, Rick Hodges detailed the environmental and financial savings afforded by the wind turbine, including that it will reduce carbon emissions by over 400,000 lbs per year in addition to saving $100,000 in annual electric costs.

While in Portsmouth, Senator Whitehouse also toured our factory, speaking with employees, and learning how Hodges manufactures ribbons, rosettes, medals and silver

Justin Williams, who works in our Art Department, explained the silver engraving process to Senator Whitehouse.  “He seemed genuinely interested in the engraving, almost mesmerized” he added.

In the photo below, Rick and Senator Whitehouse spoke about the dye sublimation process used for our multicolor ribbons.

Photo courtesy of Sen. Whitehouse's office.

As a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Senator Whitehouse has a history of working to pass legislation for expanded renewable energy opportunities.  Part of the financing for the $900,000 wind turbine comes from a federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant through Rhode Island’s Office of Energy Resources.

 

Happy Earth Day!

We’re hoping you already know, but if you haven’t heard, today is Earth Day.  Started in 1970, the day is designated to promote environmental awareness.

Here at Hodges we definitely do a few things to promote using less natural resources and making a positive impact on our local environment.  I’m sure you’ve heard enough about our wind turbine, but besides that upcoming project we regularly recycle a ton of things!  In the factory, all cardboard is recycled, as is the lead used to make our metal dies (the stamp used to imprint logos onto ribbon) and any incorrectly engraved silver or wood.  In the office we turn off unused lighting, recycle paper, cans, and glass, and have been known to re-use office supplies multiple times.  Plus, I am proud to say our ribbons are biodegradeable (not that you would be throwing them out in the first place- wink!)