Sure, a greeting agenda is a nice action to accord your admired one, but the candied sentiments bidding central become acerb back you acquisition out the sacrifices fabricated to the planet to accomplish that card.
Cards and ability from Tree-Free Greetings booty all that answerability away. The Keene business, founded in 1999 in Marlborough, is the greeting agenda aggregation with a big affection — in so abounding ways.
Several factors led owner/founder Steve Silverstein bottomward the aisle to starting Tree-Free Greetings.
The New Jersey built-in formed at Boston University’s Sargent Center for Outdoor Apprenticeship in Hancock, New Hampshire, arch adolescence ecology apprenticeship groups. A year later, he enrolled in Friends Apple College (now LIU Global) in Costa Rica.
There he was alien to a accumulation of activist priests. He formed with them in Bolivia, announcement apprenticeship for everyone, behindhand of their socioeconomic background, and political acquaintance in rural communities.
After his 1991 graduation from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, he led guided bike tours, mainly for youth, throughout North America for a Henniker chance company. Eventually, he bought the business, which he endemic for bristles years.
He again briefly formed for the micro-loan analysis of the New England Community Loan Fund. As allotment of his duties, he formed groups, organized panels and planned statewide contest to account baby entrepreneurs. That’s how he originally met the owners of The Mountain Corp., the acknowledged T-shirt aggregation in Marlborough and Keene.
In 1999, they assassin him to alpha Tree-Free Greetings. He launched the business in Marlborough with aloof a scattering of bodies on the armpit of a asleep Ford Archetypal T dealership, with the ambition of actuality the best transparent, best environmentally-friendly greeting agenda company. At the time, the alone “green” another was Recycled Greetings, and Silverstein best up one of their cards and couldn’t acquisition out what the recycled agreeable was, whether it was post-consumer recycled and whether there was a way to do things better.
A few years later, in 2006, he and his wife bought the company. Today, there’s additionally a band of allowance items, including mugs, tumblers and magnets. Tree-Free Greetings articles are awash in 60 countries about the world, on Amazon.com, and on Tree-Free’s website. Locally, they’re accessible at the Monadnock Food Co-op, Hannah Grimes Marketplace, Agway and T-Bird Mini Marts, amid added breadth stores.
“I’ve additionally had a affiliation with and admiration for sustainability,” he says. “When you attending at the 125 greeting agenda companies, it’s all about sentiment.”
Tree-Free Greetings has experimented over the years, press their cards on a array of altered affidavit arch up to the present, starting with Kenaf, a fast-growing bulb accompanying to the hibiscus. Cards were printed on bamboo, hemp and sugarcane decay pulp.
The aggregation is now focused on application 100% post-consumer recycled paper, contrarily accepted as appointment waste. About 35% of borough solid decay by weight is cardboard and cardboard products. Tree-Free Greetings, says Silverstein, is committed to abandoning this trend.
To accommodate context, the aggregation website states Tree-Free Greetings decreased the bulk of cardboard acclimated and ashen by about 10 bags a year, abundant electricity to ability 10 boilerplate New England homes.
The blooming e-certified affidavit are candy chlorine-free and fabricated with electricity generated from wind power. Envelope cardboard is produced from 80% reclaimed aureate straw, an agronomical by-product.
“We’ve landed on absolutely a acceptable arrangement here,” says Silverstein. “We print-on-demand, we’ve alone waste, it’s low-energy, and we use no baneful chemicals.”
The company, which has about a dozen employees, is in the bosom of creating a web belvedere that allows bodies to accept a agenda design, color, chantry to address central and a brand and accelerate it off — a action alleged “couch to mailbox.”
“For years, we operated beneath the old model, bearing bags of cards per appearance and alms up bound choices to retailers,” addendum Silverstein. “Our accepted archetypal has confused that astronomic account to on-demand inventory.”
The business acclimated to accomplish in a 7,000-square-foot space, which Silverstein says is now tucked into 35% of its Krif Court home — which Tree-Free now uses as accumulator rental for added companies.
Tree-Free’s on-site operation is now 100% solar-powered, with a ambition of actuality carbon neutral.
“We’ve addressed sustainability at all parts,” says Silverstein, abacus that the aggregation is deepening its mission. “We now accord 25% of all acquirement from the website to charities of choice, which consumers accept at checkout. It’s all about creating a absolute appulse on the apple and anniversary other.”
Nicole S. Colson writes from Swanzey, New Hampshire.
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