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Case Study for LunchSkins

Posted on February 19, 2021 at 2:55 PM Comments comments ()

BlueTreeDigital Increases Sales by 4600% for a Local Start-up Using Targeted Marketing Solutions

The Need:

The brainchild of three Moms who formed 3GreenMoms, LunchSkins are award-winning reusable fabric sandwich and snack bags in modern, eye-popping designs that are the answer to the plastic baggie blues. LunchSkins are made of food-safe, high-quality fabric, and are grease- and moisture-proof bags. Dishwasher-safe and BPA-free, these reusable, affordable fabric sandwich and snack bags reduce waste and are available in a variety of fun patterns for boys, girls and adults of all ages.

The Strategy:

As a local start-up business, LunchSkins needed to quickly increase sales on a modest marketing budget. LunchSkins trusted BlueTreeDigital, a local full-service digital marketing agency founded by Fortune 500 marketing strategists, who provide creative marketing solutions for both local and national entrepreneurs in small and medium-sized businesses. BlueTreeDigital’s marketing experts decided to identify and target a specialized audience for a specific one-month event, Back to School, to urge plastic waste reduction and support their environmental curriculum at schools. They used Facebook ads, email list rentals, advertorials, and banner ads to increase visibility. Facebook is used by 57% of all adults (at least 1.23 billion monthly active members) according to a Pew research study. Even after a decade online, Facebook still dominates online social media in brand and image building. According to, email marketing is a very effective digital marketing channel. In 2014, they noted 51% of online visitors discover new sites via email marketing and they provide 40% of qualified leads.1

The Results:

BlueTreeDigital provided exposure to more than 2 million targeted prospects with a conversion rate of 17%. The Back to School marketing campaign drove daily sales from $20 to average of $940, an increase of 4600%! Using BlueTreeDigital for their marketing needs, they helped their local start-up use digital marketing channels to effectively brand-build and target their brand’s audience. LunchSkins has since become a national sensation mentioned on talk shows, magazines, child and environmental sites.

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Case Study for bioRASI

Posted on February 19, 2021 at 2:45 PM Comments comments ()

BlueTreeDigital Increases Number of Leads by at Least 60% in Half the Time with Google AdWords Campaign

The Need:

bioRASI, an award-winning Clinical Research OptimizedTM (CRO) was formed to help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies accelerate the process of bringing safe, effective and reliable therapies to market. Since 2002, bioRASI has focused on clinical trial optimization, using their bioRASI Process Infrastracture (BPI) to provide the most robust and innovative operating platform in the industry. They ensure that five key principles – quality, acceptance, time, service and cost – are optimized throughout every step of the BPI clinical development, a sophisticated strategy of processes that leads project teams from the initial clinical planning and design phase through the FDA regulatory agency submission.

The Strategy:

bioRASI needed to secure 10-12 viable clinical trial patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) within 12 weeks. Using BlueTreeDigital as a marketing partner, bioRASI hired experts in media buying as well as certified Google professionals who understand Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign metrics to help with their Google AdWords needs for less than the cost of a marketing manager employee. If optimized correctly, Google AdWords can be a fast-acting effective marketing channel in which bioRASI will reach potential trial patients when they are searching for trials. BlueTreeDigital recommended a robust Google AdWords campaign implementing new keywords and negative keywords. Negative keywords can be just as important as the other keywords as can help you reach the most interested customers, reduce your costs, and increase your return on investment (ROI). Marketers report that 72% of Google AdWords marketers plan to increase their Pay Per Click (PPC) budgets in 2014 since this type of online marketing is very successful at generating leads.1

The Results:

The definitive goal of the bioRASI AdWords Campaign was to drive traffic to their special research study landing page in order to meet their objective of finding 25 leads/qualified candidates to participate in their MS research study. Originally slated as a three-month campaign, the goal was achieved in half the time, only six weeks; therefore ending the campaign ahead of schedule and under budget. The total number of conversions from the campaign was at least 40, exceeding the required number of leads by at least 60%. Upon optimizing and implementing effective keywords and negative keywords, more qualified people visited the website; therefore, there were fewer clicks because BlueTreeDigital used their marketing expertise to eliminate a large amount of unqualified people and create a tight knit campaign.

bioRASI has since successfully moved ahead into Phase III MS clinical trials due to initial increased awareness of this trial through BlueTreeDigital’s Google AdWords campaign. This type of targeted campaign should continue to serve bioRASI’s needs to find leads or candidates for any future research studies.


Regenerative Farming: an Agricultural Solution to World Problems

Posted on January 22, 2020 at 3:00 PM

There’s a plethora of documentaries, news stories and news reports on the world problems that affect the US and most of the world. Many of these problems are partially attributed to the overuse of chemicals and pesticides as well as antibiotics. In response, many have turned to eating organic foods and doctors are told to not distribute antibiotics for any non-bacterial sickness. There are massive climate change protests to enact more rules and taxes on fossil fuel emitters as well as a great push to go mostly vegetarian or vegan to save the environment.1

Besides making significant federal policy changes to put a high price on carbon in an attempt to become carbon-free by 2050, changes to electricity usage and industry are inevitable and estimated to cost the US trillions of dollars.2 Many are stirred up into a fury on the subject and believe in an apocalyptic end if the above changes don’t happen soon. One of the immediate changes would deal with agriculture as it leads to food insecurity amongst the emissions problem. Agriculture, forestry and land-use change contributed around 20% to 25% of global annual emissions in 2010.3 Electricity and heat production have already been reduced by an increase of windmills and solar panels with a reduction in fossil fuel use. A decrease in industry use would also mostly come from less fossil fuel consumption and less of certain chemical emissions. The impact of climate change is also attributed to current US agricultural emissions mostly blamed on meat and poultry farms. In response, some mainstream farms have improved varieties, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and irrigation systems to counteract that impact.

In response to industrial/mainstream farming standards where synthetic nitrogen fertilizers and pesticides were the norm, the organic movement began in the early 1900’s. Organic farming allows no chemical fertilizers, chemical pesticides, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to grow the food. In 1972, small groups of organic farmer associations joined to form the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM). In recent years, environmental awareness has driven farmers to convert to organic farming. While not in the US, some governments, including the European Union, support organic farming through agricultural subsidy reform.4

Established by Congress in 2001, the National Organic Program is a federal regulatory program through the US Department of Agriculture that emerged via The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 to develop and enforce uniform national standards for organically-produced agricultural products sold in the United States. The organic label as set by the USDA can be tricky for the American consumer. There are four levels of organic labels as defined by the USDA: 1) Certified organic – produce that comes from an organically certified USDA-approved certifier. The produce may use the words, “certified organic” or have a USDA organic seal. 2) 100% organic – all ingredients have to be certified organic, all processing aids have to also be organic and the label needs to states the name of the certifying agent in the information panel. The produce may use the words, “100% organic” and may carry the USDA organic seal. 3) Organic - items bearing the organic label must contain only certified organic agricultural items. Five percent of the ingredients may be non-organic, but they must be on the National List of allowed items. These labels must include the name of the certifying agent in the information panel. These labels can bear the word “organic” and may use the USDA organic seal. 4) Made with Organic - produce products carrying the “made with” label must be made with at least 70% certified organic ingredients. The remaining ingredients cannot use production methods excluded by the USDA. Non-agricultural products must be on the National List of allowed items, and product labels need to include the name of the certifying agent in the information panel. These labels can carry the words “made with organic” (up to three ingredients or ingredient categories), but they cannot carry the USDA organic seal. The label can also not carry the words, “made with organic ingredients.”5

Overall, these farms still make up a small share of US farmland even with the dramatic growth in certified organic farms. There were 5 million certified organic acres of farmland in 2016, representing less than 1% of the 911 million acres of total farmland nationwide.6 The demand for organic foods is on the rise as consumers seek out a diversity of fruits and vegetables grown in this way. It is currently one of the fastest growing sectors of U.S. agriculture. According to the Organic Trade Association’s latest industry survey, US organic food sales topped at $52.5 billion in 2018. In addition, that same year’s statistics show that organic food represents 5.7% of all food sales in the country and is steadily rising.7 Consumer demand for organic food is growing steadily but the percentage of organic farmland in the US is only inching up. Farmers must learn to manage soil nutrients without fertilizer and tackle weeds and insects without herbicides and insecticides. In addition, many US farmers do not find enough buyers to justify a full-farm effort. The choice to go organic in the US is generally considered risky and complicated. It presents a barrier for the average farmer to switch to organic farming methods.

In the US, organic certification requires that organic soil methods to be practiced for three years before any crop can be sold as organic food. Also, organic producers must use a longer crop rotation than conventional counterparts. Also, the same row crop cannot be produced in consecutive years on the same field. Land coming out of the USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) needs to meet the 3-year requirement of treating the soil with no prohibitive substances, but it is possible to harvest an organic crop the first year coming out of CRP if synthetic chemicals have not been applied during that period.8 Farmers can use a biological or botanical substance or even a substance included on the national list of synthetic substances allowed for use in organic crop production if all other methods fail to control pests, weeds or disease.

Unfortunately, many of these organic farmers still have to keep the chemistry of the soil at a certain standard using “natural” inputs. Ecological solutions cannot be patented or easily sold but for the farmer, these solutions are turning out to be almost always more effective and inexpensive. Any fertilizers, synthetic or natural, can be replaced by the free soil food web that builds soil and gets better over time. Beneficial organisms like birds and insects as well as plant diversity would eliminate the need for pesticides. This type of farming that goes beyond organic is called Regenerative Agriculture.

Growing concern about the global climate crisis is driving interest in regenerative agriculture, since soils store more carbon than the atmosphere and vegetation combined. Regenerative practices could extend that capacity, helping limit or even eliminate the agricultural sector’s significant greenhouse gas emissions.

Using regenerative farming practices reduces tillage, uses cover crops and diversifies crop rotations. Now there’s greater recognition that those practices benefit the climate too. Regenerative agriculture practices increase soil biodiversity and organic matter, leading to more resilient soils that can better withstand climate change impacts like flooding and drought. Healthy soils beget strong yields and nutrient-rich crops. It also diminishes erosion and runoff, leading to improved water quality on and off the farm. Importantly, regenerative agriculture practices also help us fight the climate crisis by pulling carbon from the atmosphere and sequestering it in the ground.

Through photosynthesis, plants capture sunlight. They turn it into carbon-based energy, which they store in their roots, and oxygen, which they release into the air. When plants die, their roots form a stable carbon skeletal structure underground that has many bonding sites for water and nutrients. These roots attract bacteria and fungi to the soil that breathe in oxygen and out carbon dioxide, just like you and me, and store carbon as they eat up plant matter. The carbon they’ve ingested eventually becomes part of the soil when they die.

…… (contact author for the rest of the article) 

Copyright © 2019 by Kimberly Schwender

Connection is the Answer to Addiction

Posted on January 22, 2020 at 2:50 PM

In June 1971, US President Richard Nixon declared a “War on Drugs.” He dramatically increased the size and presence of federal drug control agencies, and pushed through measures such as mandatory sentencing and no-knock warrants. John Ehrlichman, Nixon’s counsel and Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs, was quoted about the President’s state of mind when declaring this war. “We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities.”1

Almost every US President since Nixon has used the “War on Drugs” as a political tool. In the meantime, the drug war has taken a toll on our country between billions of dollars wasted, lives lost to drugs in Latin America and in the US and well as millions of those incarcerated due to drugs and disenfranchised for the rest of their lives. The drug war has gone beyond affecting sub groups within the US population. In the 21st century, it has infiltrated the mainstream. Every type of neighborhood has been touched from teenagers to the elderly. The war’s dire consequences have brought everything we know about treating drug addiction into question. Many average Americans are just trying to live an honest life but have gotten out of touch with reality. Is incarceration the best way to solve addiction? Of course, there are drug treatment/substance abuse programs and facilities as well. In the US, some are state sponsored and some are private and/or religious institution backed. The programs and their costs vary from place to place and from state to state. Many never get any treatment and are sent away as 90 percent of people that most need drug rehab do not receive it.2

It doesn’t seem to matter since there’s not much of a success rate for US drug treatment programs. Even if the treatment plan had been completed, many times less than a quarter of patients remained sober after five years.3 If that’s the case, what are these American treatment programs missing?

A Canadian psychologist, Bruce K. Alexander, and his colleagues at Simon Fraser University tested his hypothesis that drugs do not cause addiction. He and his colleagues developed a series of studies in the late 1970’s called, “Rat Park” and actually built a large housing colony, 200 times the floor area of a standard laboratory stage. There were 16-20 rats of both sexes in residence, food, balls and wheels for play and enough space for mating. The studies concluded that the apparent addiction to opiate drugs commonly observed in laboratory rats is attributable to their living conditions and not to any addictive property of the drug itself.4

Unfortunately, these studies did not go far although they were published in peer-reviewed psychopharmacology journals in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. In turn, Alexander and his colleagues lost their school’s funding so they moved on to other projects. Within the last thirty years, some of the basic findings were replicated and extended by researchers in other laboratories but none of this translated into changing the US professionals’ official view of handling addiction.

…… (contact author for the rest of the article)

Copyright © 2019 by Kimberly Schwender

The Use of Reiki to Treat Pain and Anxiety

Posted on January 22, 2020 at 2:15 PM

Nearly 50 million American adults have significant chronic pain or severe pain, according to a 2015 study prepared by National Institute of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, anxiety affects approximately 1.5 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year. Many people with an anxiety disorder also have a co-occurring disorder or physical illness, which can make their symptoms worse and recovery more difficult.

Fibromyalgia is one of the most common chronic pain conditions. The National Fibromyalgia Association states that the disorder affects an estimated 10 million people in the U.S.

The drugs created to treat fibromyalgia aren’t always effective and like all medications, they can carry certain risks. “The drug with no side effects is only in our imagination,” says Eduardo Fraifeld, MD, president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine. People with fibromyalgia may have other health problems as well, and according to Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, the medical director of the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers, about 70% take more than one medication regularly so there’s a high chance of drug interactions.

The AARP’s research shows that those 50 years of age and older are discussing Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) with their physicians to potentially find a treatment with limited or no side effects. One of the most popular treatments for pain relief and well being is reiki. The name is a combination of two Japanese words “rei” and “ki”, meaning "universal life force energy." It’s commonly used for stress reduction, deep relaxation and pain relief.

…… (contact author for the rest of the article) Copyright © 2016 by Kimberly Schwender

Improve your Life with Meditation

Posted on January 22, 2020 at 2:00 PM

Have you ever considered beyond your daily or weekly routines that you might need something else to make your life complete? Do you feel you need to put all of your ducks in a row and you need to find that piece inside of you to frame it all to make sense? A technique used all over the world to reach this inner knowing is the practice of meditation.

Meditating is deceptively simple. Don’t you just close your eyes and clear your mind? How do you focus on a moment? Believe it or not, you can with some practice.

In a National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) conducted by the NIH’s NCCIH (Nat’l Center for Complementary & Alternative Health) reported in 2017, reveals 9.9% of the US population (21+ million) practice meditation and is one of the most used mind and body practices in the country. Meditation has been shown to improve employee well-being and productivity in the workplace. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) journal, Preventing Chronic Disease, “Approximately 1 in 7 workers report engagement in some form of mindfulness-based activity, and these individuals can bring awareness of the benefit of such practices into the workplace.”

The health and psychological benefits of mindfulness meditation are well documented. In a 2012 study by the University of Washington at Seattle, human resources (HR) workers who had an 8-week mindfulness meditation training course were found to be more focused and to have a less negative attitude towards work than a trial group who had been on an 8-week relaxation training course.

There are also studies that show the benefits of guided meditation. Practicing guided meditation allows our thoughts and perceptions about our lives to shape the chemical pathways and cells in our brain to make them more neuroplastic so they can actually be reshaped. This is proven to help handle stress more skillfully and train the brain to be more optimistic and take on a “positive thinking” environment to look at the world in a more hopeful way.

…… (contact author for the rest of the article)

Copyright © 2017 by Kimberly Schwender