How to Reduce Plastic Waste at Festivals and Events

The hot British Summer is in full swing and we're well into the festival season now. If you're anything like me, you'll love soaking up the summer whilst enjoying a bit of music and culture outdoors. I recently joined a 40,000 strong crowd for a music festival in London. By the end of the evening and a couple of beers down, I was so swept up in the excitement of the headliner's encore, that I thought I would be going home with a lingering sense of contentment (and perhaps some ringing in my ears). As the crowds descended into the evening, the feeling quickly disappeared as I was followed by an overwhelming sound of crunching. As I looked back, I was shocked to see a dense carpet of plastic pint glasses strewn on the ground, and being crushed underfoot. Sadly, this scene is all too familiar during the festival season.

At Creative Bloom, we wanted to challenge the issue that has become a norm amongst festival-goers and organisers. There are many actions that we can take to have some fun in the sun in a more environmentally responsible way. We partnered up with 'Surfers Against Sewage' and the 'Paddle Round the Pier' event and some other fabulous local activists to try to tackle the issue.

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Our project began last year, when members of Creative Bloom along with SAS volunteers, conducted a waste audit at the 2017 Paddle Round the Pier event. This included a review of food and drinks packaging and promotional material that was being supplied by stallholders, availability of segregated recycling bins and guidelines of how and where waste should be deposited. After conducting this audit, guidelines were created to help to inform stallholders of ways to help reduce the production of plastic waste at the 2018 Paddle Round the Pier event.

Although some stallholders found this task a little too tall, many were up for the challenge. Alongside Surfers Against Sewage we helped to arrange two beach cleans after the event and our very own Stuart Davies and local designer Claire Potter held talks throughout the weekend about how to reduce plastic waste as the Hove Local SAS Representatives. During this year's event, Jimmy from Bloom also held a second waste audit to see ways in which the festival had improved since last year, chatting to some attendees & stall holders and discussing their thoughts on the issue.

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These are only small steps that have been taken, but already we have seen a great reduction in the amount of plastic waste created at the Paddle Round the Pier Event. The festival's organisers, stallholders and attendees have shown that with the right attitude, events both large and small are are able to achieve this reduction in plastic waste. We are aware that this is part of a process to try to tackle the issue, but small actions and conversations are a great starting point to help resolve the current plastic problem within Brighton and Hove.

It’s very simple to do - start your own conversation and watch change start to happen.

Top Ways to Encourage People to Review Your Business

tips for online reviews - creative bloom

Why are online reviews so important?

Whether you are an online or offline business, reviews are a crucial element to your success. A whopping 97% of consumers read online reviews and more than half of those people need to read four or more before they can trust the business. Reviews can give you feedback on ways to improve your business and help to prove its legitimacy. Good reviews can also help to improve your SEO. Just as a user will be more likely to trust a business with good reviews, search engines will trust them in the same way. Google, in particular, will gather information from several review websites and if it likes what it sees, will help to push your ranking up. All of these advantages will put your business in the best position to lead to that greatly sought after sale or sign up.

 

Tips for Online Reviews

 

Set it up 

It's up to you to get your business listed on review sites. Tripadvisor, Yelp, and Facebook are all well known review websites, but certain sites are better than others for your particular sector. Dig a little deeper to find out which review site suits your business best and make sure that you're listed. Once this is done, you will have a link that you can forward on to any customer or client you wish!

 

If you don't ask, you don't get

 We can all be a little shy at times when it comes to asking for feedback directly, but this should really be commonplace in any business. During a conversation in person or even on a social platform, asking directly for feedback and reviews can come back with plenty of results. These can be taken as soundbites and testimonials to be used for web or social content - don't be afraid of blowing your own trumpet!

 

Keep it easy

A 'thank you' email after an online purchase with a link to your review page makes it easy for anybody to just click and review. They're already online with your business in mind, so what's to stop them? You can automate emails to send as soon as a call to action sign up or transaction has been completed to make it super simple. 

 

Don't forget 'Google My Business'

Make sure that all of your relevant information is updated on your 'Google My Business' page and get your Google review link to send to your customers. Around 9% of Google's ranking algorithms are based on reviews - that's a good chunk to influence your SEO.

 

Reply, reply, reply.

It's all fine and well to gain the trust of your customers and clients but keeping it is just as important. Bad reviews will come along every now and again but it's not the end of the world. Someone who has not had a good experience with your business will be far more likely to return if any negative feedback is acknowledged and dealt with quickly and efficiently. So it's important to keep an eye on good and bad reviews to make sure your customers feel like they're being taken care of.

 

Follow these simple tips and you'll be well on your way to building reviews online and helping to increase your business's success. Believe us - it's important.

Join Team Bloom: PPC (Pay Per Click) Digital Intern

Creative Bloom is an integrated data-driven marketing agency helping green and value-driven businesses on their mission to make a social and environmental impact.

 

We are all about data marketing on a mission.

 

We’ve worked with a range of local and national businesses striving for change, including Octopus Energy, Brighton and Hove Food Partnership, The Railway Land Wildlife Trust, EcoGym, and LUSH. We also work with an amazing bunch of entrepreneurial businesses and act as the official marketing partner of the University of Brighton’s Green Growth Platform

 

We are looking for a PPC (pay-per-click) Digital intern with previous experience in pay per click advertising. You’ll be working in a close-knit & friendly team who focus their digital efforts on helping the good guys get found.

 

We are looking for a person who would like to utilise their digital marketing skills to help sustainable and green companies grow.


 

Essential Skills

  • Background knowledge / understanding of digital marketing, specifically experience of paid PPC advertising.

  • An understanding of SEO and Web Design is desirable.

  • Technical & Data minded

  • A natural problem solver.

  • Ability to write short-form content.

  • An excellent understanding of the English language.

  • Confident grasp of Microsoft Excel.

  • The ability to understand and interpret data.

  • Familiarity with Google Analytics .

  • A very good eye for detail.

  • Use your own initiative.

  • Strong organisational and analytical skills.

 

Experience Required

  • Marketing: 6 Months

  • Degree level education

 

Key Personal Attributes

  • Share our ethical & green values. A commitment to drive change.

  • A strong communicator, both written and verbal.

  • Hard-working and has attention to detail.

  • A confident short form writing style.

  • Strong time management skills.

  • Ability to demonstrate in your application an interest in Digital Marketing as a career.

  • Open, honest and direct.


 

Day To Day Tasks

  • Optimisation and maintenance of PPC campaigns on Adwords & other social media platforms.

  • Designing and creating innovative content for PPC creatives.

  • SEO using keyword research and competitive landscape analysis.

  • Reporting on Google Analytics data.

  • Using tools such as SEM Rush, Moz, Excel etc. for data findings and conversion reporting.

 

About You

  • We’re looking for a self-starter - someone who is willing to take the initiative.

  • You’ll need the the ability to work autonomously and as part of a team.

  • A good communicator is essential - You shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions or for help.

  • You should have good time management and be able to prioritise your projects & tasks.

 

About Us

  • We really value a relaxed working environment and when she visits, our golden retriever will make lying on the floor seem like an even more attractive working position than you ever would’ve thought it was.

  • Personal development is something we encourage and when applicable we will put aside time for personal training in house or externally.

  • Staying in the loop often means attending local events, talks and conventions that you’ll be attending too & supporting Creative Bloom with our ‘eco’ campaigns, such as beach cleans & waste packaging action days.

  • Only the finest coffee will be made every morning, but be wary that it’s decided via random spinner!

 

Important Details

  • Your day: 9 till 5:30pm.

  • You will be working 3 days per week, for 10 weeks.

  • At the end of your internship, we will review your time with us and may offer you a more permanent position.

  • You will have competitive internship pay at living wage rate of £8.57 per hour, we don’t believe interns shouldn’t be paid!


If you like the sound of that then please send us an email with your covering letter and CV attached.

ollie@creativebloomrocks.com

The New Way to Network: Why we think old-school business events should be a thing of the past.

We all know the standard networking event format. You arrive at a swanky venue, slap on a name tag and proceed to wonder around the room clutching a glass of red and nodding your way into conversations with strangers. Then there's shaking hands whilst holding both a paper plate & glass of wine (a very difficult task) and leaving with pockets full of business cards. This is the classic 'old-school networking event'. We do understand the need for these events and how important getting out there and chatting to other businesses is, but we'd much rather do it in a different way! 

Brighton is home to one of the most thriving communities of start-ups, freelancers, organisations and charities, all enthusiastic to get to know one another. In turn, there are a whole host of exciting events that cater to many different industries. We would much rather have a chat with someone during a workshop, take part in an open discussion or try out a new product to learn about how we can collaborate. Laid-back events can lead to a true sense of trust and create an atmosphere of fun, where ideas and real in-depth conversations can be exchanged. Exactly how we believe business should be!

Here are some of our favourite events to meet new contacts in Brighton:

Tedx Brighton - networking events

TEDx 

Brighton

If you haven't heard of TEDx then this is certainly the time to learn about it. These inspirational talks are usually held at Brighton Dome and give an insight into a whole host of industries. You'll get talks from speakers such as Dom Joly from Trigger Happy TV and Steven Day, Co-Founder of Pure Planet and Renewable Energy Expert. By the end of the evening you'll definitely have something to talk about with fellow attendees. 

Wired Sussex Brighton - networking events

Wired Sussex

 

This organisation has been bringing the digital community of Sussex together for over a decade, hosting events all over the city. They provide a platform for freelancers, start-ups and bigger businesses to connect through workshops, breakfast sessions, talks and loads more. 

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Toast

The hosts of Toast Brighton began running their breakfasts after they became bored of the usual corporate networking events - just like us! That's why they run events to create a buzz around networking and make it fun and relaxed. You can mingle around a breakfast buffet and leave feeling inspired after hearing from one of their motivational speakers.

Pecha Kucha Brighton - networking events

PECHA KUCHA

This is a similar one to TEDx Brighton but on a slightly smaller scale. Local people and small organisations can get involved to share the story of what they're doing. With only 20 slides of 20 seconds each, the talks are short and fast-paced, giving time to include more speakers that add variety to the evening. If you're thinking of attending, the PechaKucha Brighton website has a whole host of past talks you can check out before you go.

Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce - networking events

Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce

This business community hosts events both large and small, from conferences to workshops. Though you'll have to pay for membership, it's well worth it, as the Chamber of Commerce really does act as a central hub for local businesses - giving you so many opportunities and connections. They have a great selection of events so you have loads of choice of what to attend.

Green Growth Platform - networking events

Green Growth Platform

Hosted by Brighton University, the Green Growth Platform provides a network for sustainable businesses to meet as well as offering business support to them. Their upcoming events include marketing workshops and courses on sustainability in action.

ONCA gallery - networking events

O N C A

With sustainability, creativity and community driving everything they do,
O N C A provides a space to create and expand a network of individuals and communities with the same values. They hold regular events such as storytelling evenings, workshops and artist's talks at their gallery on London Road, welcoming those looking to host events of their own. 

GLUG Brighton - networking events

GLUG

If you're a creative type you'll probably have come across Glug already, but if not we'll tell you a little about it. This event is always packed to the brim with graphic designers, illustrators, animation wiz kids and loads of other creative people. Often held at the Patterns nightclub, the evening could begin with a mingle around the bar, trying out VR headsets, watching live art or pulling your own screen print. This gets everyone chatting before the line-up of speakers begin. Past speakers have included David Shrigley, Supermundane and Kyle Bean. Get ready to be inspired!

Brighton Meetup - networking events

Brighton Meetup

We're cheating slightly on this one but felt it was too great a networking platform to miss out. If you haven't come across Meetup yet then we urge you to give it a go! This is a great space to create online communities, find people with similar interests in Brighton and take part in those interests together. You are encouraged to create your own events and invite your group to take part. So if we haven't listed an event that you would be looking for here, then check out the Meetup site and see if it exists. If not, we'll leave it up to you get it up and running.

All of these events are held in Brighton and are great ways of creating relationships with people outside of 'work mode'. Organic conversations that come from a shared experience or topical point are far more worthwhile and memorable than those which aren't. But we'd say the best way of getting out there is by hosting an event of your own!

We GLITTERALLY can't believe it! Nursery cuts microplastics

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We've been hearing all about the recent ban of plastic microbeads in UK cosmetics due to the damage it can cause to marine life, but did you know that glitter can be just as responsible for aquatic pollution?

So when, Brighton residents, you last shook your beard/bed/coffee in the months after Pride, just consider that these microparticles turn up just as easily in our oceans, leading to growth problems in sea life, amongst other issues.

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We are, however, beginning to see some very welcome changes. Tops Day Nurseries group have recently called out for a glitter ban in their classrooms in the run-up to Christmas, now using environmentally friendly alternatives such as lentils and rice. It won't make any difference in the development of a child's learning, but it could make a difference in our oceans if we all follow suit!

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Don't worry, we don't expect everyone to turn up to Pride 2018 covered in lentils and rice, but there are some environmentally friendly glitter alternatives that you can choose from. There is an increasing number of companies creating bio-degradable glitter from compostables and renewable resources such as Eco Glitter Fun, Eco Stardust & Glitterlution

 

 

Although we're well aware that cutting out conventional glitter will not solve the issue of plastic pollution, it will hopefully set a goal for others to follow and create a conversation about more hidden pollutants in our homes. 

Rubbish at Recycling? The Truth About Brighton & Hove

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If you live in Brighton & Hove, I’m sure that you would make the same assumption as most when it comes to the city’s recycling. We are the only city in Britain that is home to a Green Party Constituency so Brightonians must be green?

Surely we would have some of the best recycling statistics of the nation?

You may be surprised to hear that in 2014/15 Brighton & Hove was ranked 337th out of 351 English authorities for the performance of household recycling, composting and reusing - with only 24.6% of household waste being sent to council waste management. Top of the list was South Oxfordshire District Council, managing to send 66.6% of their household waste to council organised recycling, composting and re-use management.

However, if you walk from one end of Brighton’s city centre to the other, you will come across an abundance of environmentally driven restaurants, activists, and pub conversations. This could lead you to the conclusion that Brighton has one of the most green-conscious communities in Britain. So why isn’t this reflected in the statistics?

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If you take a look at the list above and compare the recycling capability of South Oxfordshire and Brighton & Hove, you can see that the number of materials that can be recycled in each city varies greatly. So if the only plastics that can be picked up from your home to be recycled are bottles, where do you turn to when it comes to drinks cartons, tin foil, and other recyclables?
 

OUR RECYCLING SOLUTIONS

One answer lies in Brighton & Hove’s well known make-do and mend mentality which stretches as far as the resident’s approach to recycling. In the true community spirit of Brighton and Hove, 3 volunteers from Hanover Community Centre began to collect recyclable waste around residential and business areas in 1990 and are still running 27 years later under the name of Magpie Recycling Co-operative Ltd. Magpie Recycling Co-operative has a far more extensive list of items that can be recycled and offer weekly home collection services under the name of 'Green Box' from as little as £1.39 a week. They have also set up 'Shabitat' - a warehouse of bric-a-brac that gives truth to the phrase ‘one man’s trash is another’s treasure’.

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There are several other recycling organisations that provide similar services, for example, The Wood Store who collect unwanted wooden items.

Freegle is a homegrown Brighton and Hove  online freecycling community, a site similar to Gumtree, but where everything’s free! It encourages the community to help each other to reduce the demand for buying new products and cut down on waste. Freecycle is another great resource that works similarly, so if you’ve got a spare microwave or child’s buggy, you know where to go. 

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Katie, a current Brighton resident who used to live in Oxford, commented on how she felt both cities council recycling compared,

“I was surprised that as a green seat, Brighton doesn’t do much about food waste but in Oxford, they communicated information at least 4 times a year about what we could and couldn’t put in bins and gave us loads of resources for food waste.”

Although there is currently no food waste collection by Brighton and Hove City Council, they are aiming to help reduce food waste by working with The Brighton and Hove food Partnership organisation to set up community composting around the city. They have already set up 16 community composting sites, as listed below. In addition to this, The Brighton and Hove Food Partnership alongside the council are on track to set up a community fridge, funded by Sainsburys. This will allow local residents to leave any spare food for hungry people and again help reduce food waste around the city.

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Having reviewed these areas of recycling around Brighton and Hove, you could argue that although the statistics for household recycling may not seem very high, there is without a doubt a sense of community ownership of recycling which is not quantified in these statistics. The council decided, only a few days ago, to phase out the use of single-use plastics in the city. This motion was supported by a public petition, proving that the people of Brighton & Hove take it upon themselves, with the help of private and public organisations, to find creative ways of cutting down, re-using and recycling waste in the city.

So perhaps the fact that we have a lack of recycling resources available on our doorstep doesn't matter as much when there are efforts in place to cut down on the production of waste in the first place.

There is that old saying that 'prevention is better than cure' after all.

We are going to start talking a lot more about designing out waste.

How to build the marketing strategy for your eco business

Marketing strategy for eco businesses - Creative Bloom

Promoting a brand, product or service with limited marketing resources is a difficult challenge. We've been working with the University of Brighton's Green Growth Platform for the past few years, hosting regular free workshops to their members, to help give them the tools to execute a great marketing campaign on a low budget. 

One practice that we use to put together a marketing strategy for all of our clients, as well as advise in our workshops, is "POST". 


What goes into a POST marketing plan?

Target - marketing strategy

P | People

Who are you trying to target?

Every successful business is centered around solving a pain point for people. However, in order to reach the people with the pain, you need to know who they are and how you can reach them.

When we talk about ‘people’ at the start of a strategy, what we’re really doing in “official marketing terms” is creating different ‘audience segments’.

The more detail you can go into on who you’re trying to target, the more creative you can get with the messaging - and the lower the risk of alienating people.

The most effective marketing strategies identify and target between 3 and 5 different ‘personas’, painting a picture of them with the following types of data: 

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Occupation
  • Routine (specifically relationship commitments and work patterns)
  • Buying habits (what they choose to spend their money on)
  • Views (political, sociological and other topics important to them)

Objective - marketing strategy

O | Objective

What are you trying to achieve?

 

'Marketing' is an open ended practice. There are so many different ways that a product, service or brand can be marketed, but the most ineffective campaigns are those who spread their efforts too thinly. 

This is where separating your marketing efforts by campaign objectives is vital. Firstly, it enables you to keep your "eyes of the prize" through the campaign, but it also acts as a pinnacle through the strategy planning stages to help you keep on mission.

And you need to be specific: How many more sales do you want? How much higher would you like your reach or engagement to be? How many more site visitors or social media followers do you want?


Marketing strategy

S | Strategy

How are you going to achieve it?

 

This is when you start really getting into the creative thinking through identifying the messages that would both speak to your audience and help you to meet your objective.

The best marketing plans include a range of different ways that you can do this.

Examples of strategies that would be implemented include educating the audience on your industry, directly selling your product, highlighting certain aspects of your product, and building or supporting a community to promote brand awareness.


tactics - marketing strategy

T | Tactics

Which tools will you use?

 

Here's where you get into the details and map out which platforms you're going to use for getting these messages out there - with a big focus on where your target audience are.  

For instance, if you're trying to promote discounts to certain organisations, it can be most effective to flyer outside of their building. Alternatively, if you're trying to sell a type of food to families across the UK, Google display ads would be better practice.

You can use a range of different tactics per strategy.

You can find out more about POST, as well as a whole range of marketing practices that keep costs low and success rates high, at our free two-day marketing workshops on 23rd and 30th November. These are run by The Green Growth Platform and subject to qualification criteria.

 

Or you can contact us and we can run them for your business