Tag Archives: environmental responsibility

Fresh Sheets (without washing!)

sheets

No one likes changing bed sheets, but it’s a necessary activity for cleanliness and good health. However, the group that probably changes their sheets the least is college students. And, since college students have limited space available, their beds winds up doing duty as desk, table, and lounge chair – in other words, getting a lot of use and dirt. Thus, forcing college students to (reluctantly) change their sheets. Until now.

Enter a new product called “AfreSHeet,” the world’s only fitted sheet with seven peel-away, disposable layers. The layers are made from a soft polyester blend with a waterproof coating. A simple design allows the top layer to easily peel off and reveal the new layer below.

The sheets aren’t only comfortable and convenient, they are also environmentally friendly; each time sheets are washed it takes gallons of water and exposes the environment to harsh laundry chemicals. (Plus, plenty of quarters are needed for the laundry machines.) The product is priced at $29.95 for the seven-layer bottom sheet. With AfreSHeet, customers instantly have new, soft, clean and comfortable waterproof sheets to sleep on.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: How often do students change and wash sheets? Would they be interested in an alternative?
  2. Show the company Web site: http://www.afresheet.com/ (includes a video)
  3. Discuss the various promotional tactics that can be used for launching a product.
  4. Have students come up with tactics and list all the tactics on the white board (ex: billboards, print, direct mail, etc.).
  5. Divide students into groups and have each select three different tactics. For each tactic, explain why it was selected and how it will be used.
  6. Debrief by putting together the entire suggested lists on the white board. As a final step, have the entire class vote on the top three tactics to use.

Source: New York Times

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What Happens to Old Smartphones?

phones

Apple has already sold more than 10 million phones in the first week of availability, and BlackBerry has just launched its new phone as well. With all the new phones coming out on the market this fall, one wonders – what happens to all the old phones. Where do old phones go, do they have another life? And, how can we get money for our old phones?

Plenty of people sell their used cellphones, and usually it peaks when new models become available. One buyer of used phones is GameStop, a video game retailer that buys and sells used games and electronic equipment. During a recent trade-in event held following the new iPhone 6 launch, the company bought more than 15,000 devices, including recent iPhone 5 models.

Another company that buys used cellphones is EcoATM; it reported an 80% increase in iPhone trade-ins at its 1,100 kiosks. A third company, Gazelle, allows people to mail in their used smartphones and electronics for cash back or credit on Amazon.com. Gazelle reported that it was making 180 offers per minute in the week preceding the iPhone 6 launch and the iPhone 5 accounted for 38% of the devices being traded.

It’s nice to know that old equipment still has some life left for consumers.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Show Web sites of companies that buy old smartphones: Gazelle at https://www.gazelle.com/trade-in; EcoATM at http://www.ecoatm.com/; GameStop at http://www.gamestop.com/
  2. Discuss the business model for buying and selling older models of smartphones.
  3. Who is the target market? What is the process for consumers?
  4. Divide students into teams. Have teams create a brief business plan for buying and selling old phones. Emphasize the 4Ps in the plan.
  5. Discuss the benefits of such programs, as well as the environmental impact of outdated electronics.

Source: New York Times

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