In time for the 2011 cookie-selling season, the Girl Scouts of America will introduce a new package for its Thanks-A-Lot cookie. By switching from paperboard cartons to a film wrap over inside plastic trays, the organization expects to save 150 tons of paperboard.
The group also estimates that the smaller package will save about 35,000 gallons of gasoline for transportation*. The new tray-wrapped package holds the same amount of cookies as the previous carton.
Additionally, the group is testing a new direct-sales approach in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. Girls in the 25 troops participating in this new distribution trial will be able to sell cookies immediately to the homes they visit, as opposed to the previous way of taking orders and then delivering the cookies later.
"When you purchase Girl Scout Cookies, you get a great tasting product and you support the premier leadership program for girls," says Diane Nelson, CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Iowa. "Because all Girl Scout programs such as cookie sale activities are girl-driven, girls make their own decisions and run the sale with the help of adult volunteers. Cookies are one of the reasons why Girl Scouting is successful at building leadership."
*Clarification: On 1-7-11, Gunther Brinkman, vp, innovation and strategy at Interbake Foods (the bakery), clarifies in an e-mail: "The 35,000 gallons of fuel saved is not in transportation alone, but rather the gasoline equivalent of the total energy saved by making the switch, based on the EPA's Waste Reduction Model (WARM). Eliminating the shipment of cartons to our plant and putting more Thanks-A-Lot cookies on a pallet does reduce overall diesel usage, but that figure is closer to 3,500 gallons."