Whenever we read the news, we see people pointing out climate and sustainability issues, seeking new ways of ensuring a sustainable future. We often see huge factories polluting the water, the air, the soil, etc. Companies produce so many products with huge amounts of plastic that they attract criticism from consumers. Therefore, we always try to seek problems that we have created ourselves. A few days back, it caught my attention that, in Europe, companies must prepare a detailed report on sustainability and their achievements. According to the legislation, they should include their sustainability numbers and further efforts in the financial report, which can be publicly read. Also, even though there are legislations for eco-sustainability, companies have to make their products more sustainable and eco-friendlier.
In accordance with all these, companies want to step up their game by showing themselves as eco-friendly and using green marketing. Green marketing has emerged first in the 1970s as environmental issues have been started to emerge. It was first founded “to include environmental principles in marketing processes, to identify environmentally friendly consumers who want to buy environmentally friendly products, and to make best efforts to create an ethos of recycling to direct industrial societies towards adopting modes of behavior that do not ultimately result in any harm to the environment.” When this sentence is first read, it looks like there are a lot of things to digest. In other words, one aspect of the marketing world is to both produce green products and encourage consumers to consume these goods and create awareness on the consumer to not harm the environment. Even though we may not particularly see green marketing around, we may kind of realize that we have this awareness to some extent and be influenced by the green marketing strategies.
However, to what extent do we think we can change our consumption to a sustainable one? From now and then, we often hear things like, "It is only two pieces of paper, would it really matter? Am I going to be the one who will be held responsible for sustainability?" Even if two pieces of paper wouldn't change the overall result, individuals themselves should be aware of this fact. A few days back, I came across a startup project that could add a new aspect to sustainability on an individual level, which is called "Composeit". It made me think that maybe all those international firms are using Green Marketing, however it is possible to change the aspect of sustainability and make the consumer feel like they are part of this act and can change the way they perceive their “useless trash”.
What is Composeit?
Composeit was first founded in 2017 by a few high school students. I had the chance to talk with Gökçenaz Uzun, founder of this startup. I have also benefited from the interview she had with İklim Gazetesi. Composeit’s main product is called Bokashi. Bokashi is a method that was found long ago by Far East Asians. This method can be defined by fermentation of the ecological household wastes. Their main customers are the households, in other words, individuals. They sell these Bokashi bags and the other necessary tools to turn ecological waste into compost that will increase the variety of the microbiological organisms in the soil, which will cause the soil to be more efficient.
They have sold many Bokashi products, and they have collected data out of their sales. They have realized that their customers consisted of the city people and more on the village side because this product has given them a new solution to one of the huge problems in agricultural production, which is affordable and organic (non-chemical) fertilizers.
How has Composeit changed the way consumers see their waste?
As we have mentioned in the Green Marketing idea, we can see how the producer and consumer have changed their idea on sustainability on an individual basis. Think of a banana peel that you would hold in your hand. The first thing that you would think of would be to toss it into the trash can. However, if you have a Bokashi bag, you will happily put it in there to recycle it as a fertilizer which will turn into a portion of food for your plants later. Surprisingly, when they have first came up with the idea, they thought that the product would be sold mostly to the city people since they have thought that the sustainability idea would attract them the most. However, this shows that we, as city people, are less aware of the potential of our wastes.
What we see as waste may be a treasure for others, as it is well known. Therefore, products like Bokashi bags are the perfect way of creating awareness. The reason why I love the idea of Composeit is that it shows that sustainability, being eco-friendly, is not all about the big factories and producers. If we change the way we see our waste and start acting that even a piece of paper that we see as useless will matter, we will see a huge difference in the following years. Also, Composeit gives me hope about how we can emerge Green Marketing into our consumption behavior, and I am hoping that this kind of startup will be widely spread in the following years.