Ditch the Paper Coffee Cup, Save a Tree

A rendering of the NBCU "green" coffee cart.

NBCUniversal has an interesting factoid to kick off its Green Week campaign: if everyone used reusable mugs for their coffee instead of paper cups, we could have nine million trees.

Accordingly, the NBCU “Mugs Save Trees” campaign starts today with coffee carts around New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago handing out free reusable mugs and filling those with free coffee.

The idea of one small act making a difference is cropping up in ads and public service campaigns all around.

Target and CVS Pharmacies give five cents back for every reusable tote bags customers use for their purchases.

With plastic in the negative spotlight, Glad trash bags is promoting how much less plastic its new bags use. Scott paper products encourages its customers to buy its 40 percent recycled fiber toilet paper.

By making eco-friendliness seem easy and part of the everyday, brands are appealing to the consumer’s desire to do good without doing very much. Are you noticing this “do you part” theme in other PR campaigns?