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GDUSA Green Newsletter

July 2013

green news


I may have bad habits, but littering is not one of them. The reason: the very powerful Keep America Beautiful ad campaigns that ran constantly on television and in print when I was growing up. The “crying Indian” – don’t freak out, that was what the character was called in the 1970s – shed tears over a polluted waterfront. Susan Spotless – don’t freak out, that was what the character was called in the 1970s – showed us that “every litter bit hurts” And I bought in completely, to this day feeling deep in my gut that littering is an abomination against God, man, country, native Americans and judgmental women. It was effective public service advertising that promoted a socially responsible message, and it continues to control my behavior many decades later. (Too bad there was no “Don’t Mix Plaids and Stripes” public service campaign in those days; then I’d be perfect.) It will be interesting to see if the new Ad Council-Keep America Beautiful collaboration, their first since the halcyon years (see below), can be as effective for today’s impatient, fragmented and skeptical audience. But it’s worth a try.

— Gordon Kaye,




The 411 On Chicago's 606


Chicago’s next great park – and an emphatic answer to NYC’s High Line – has a new name. The 606 has been a decade in the making, and was was named by Landor Associates as part of a comprehensive pro bono effort by the firm’s Chicago office. Like Millennium Park, The 606 builds on Chicago’s legacy of great parks, creating a nearly three-mile, multi-use recreational trail and park system along an elevated, unused rail line. The project’s elevated trail and ground-level neighborhood parks serve as both an urban oasis and a community connector. The new, overarching name represents the zip code prefix shared by Chicago residents citywide, underscoring the project’s role in connecting diverse Chicago neighborhoods, as well as evoking a connections to the site’s transportation history – a play on the tradition of using numbers to name rail lines, highways and other transportation corridors. The Landor team was made up largely of Chicago residents. LEARN MORE >

VSA on Rethinking Recycling


VSA Partners is responsible for the design of Sappi’s eQ Journal, Issue 5, “Rethinking Recycling.”, an educational tool on sustainability issues and practices. The free publication from Sappi spotlights a wide range of sustainability issues and practices. Issue 5 presents a number of topics including single stream recycling, municipal solid waste, postconsumer waste and recycled fiber. In addition to the latest iteration of the journal, VSA Partners has created a series of new ‘please recycle’ logos in English, Spanish and French. Designer credits to Brandt Brinkerhoff, Katherine Walker and Nate Baltikas. CONTACT >

Bigger than a 16 Ounce Can


The Coca-Cola Foundation is granting $2.59 million to the city of Chicago to provide 50,000 blue recycling carts so that the city’s houses and smaller apartment buildings have access to recycling. In return, Coke will place its logo and brands on the can lids. “We see this as an incredible way to be able to give back to Chicago, give back to the U.S. and to be able to keep our pledge, which is to be sure that every bottle, plastic bottle, can in which our products are packaged will find its way back into a recycling bin,” says Sonya Soutus, a Coke marketing exec. VISIT >


All natural flavored sparkling water, Something Natural, has rebranded with a new design by the Little Big Brands consultancy that distills down the original flock of birds identity to a single graphic bird. The idea: reinforces the natural promise of the brand and evoke a feel that is both approachable and warm. Each element of the packaging is handcrafted, from the hand-drawn logotype to the bird illustrations. Five unique birds are illustrated to set each flavor apart and help provide strong color-coding. The logo finishes differently on each SKU as it appears to be a piece of string being pulled by the birds. SEE MORE >

A Bird in the Hand


Hollender Sustainable Brands is launching Sustain, the first sustainable, fair trade, FSC-certified condom in the United States. While organic, fair trade products in the US represent $25 billion, Sustain will be the first condom brand to enter the market. A father-daughter team – Jeffrey Hollender is a co-founder of Seventh Generation and Meika is a newly minted MBA – is behind the project. LEARN MORE >

Sustain Condom Enters Market



Keep America Beautiful Redux


After a 30 year hiatus, the Ad Council and Keep America Beautiful are collaborating again, this time to introduce a new advertising campaign that seeks to boost recycling. In the distant past, the team collaborated to promote anti-littering campaigns which spawned memorable slogans such as “don’t be a litterbug” and “every litter bit hurts,” and iconic images as the “crying Indian” featuring a Native American distraught over the pollution around him. The current campaign, “I Want To Be Recycled,” featuring plastic bottles and aluminum cans “aspiring” to be more than their discarded selves – ending up as part of more socially redeeming products such as plastic benches, blue jeans, sports stadiums, computer casings and the like. The new campaign ‒ by the San Francisco-based Pereira & O’Dell ‒ uses television, radio, outdoor and online advertising to promote Keep America Beautiful’s recycling agenda. The new campaign is being underwritten by the American Chemistry Council, Waste Management, Nestlé Waters North America, Niagara Bottling, Unilever, the Anheuser-Busch Foundation and the Alcoa Foundation. LEARN MORE >


Advertising agency Kemp Goldberg Partners recently rolled out ads for The Nature Conservancy in Boston that ask people what the “future of nature” will be – in each case, prompting them to choose between two apparently imcompatible options. Loggers or forests? People or wildlife? Fishermen or fish? Ecology or economy? The campaign points to a landing page where visitors learn that, in fact, they might not have to choose at all – that a healthy economy and a healthy natural world are both possible. The so-called “tastes great, less filling” approach of the ads is a provocative one, and the intention is that it will draw people into the conversation. Kemp Goldberg is based in Portland ME.

Tastes Great, Less (Land)Filling


Target is going organic with a new store brand, Simply Balanced. Amanda Irish, senior director of Target’s store brands, said the new line is in response to the growing popularity of organic foods, and that they will amp up selections in that category by 25% by 2017. The grocery space is increasingly important to both physical retailers and those online as both Walmart and Amazon are investing more heavily in their grocery and produce operations. SEE MORE >

One Stop (Organic) Shopping

Expanding Packaging Options

Expanding Packaging Options


Swedish research company Innventia teamed up with designers from agency Tomorrow Machine to develop an expanding bowl, sustainable package customized for freeze-dried food. The purpose: to combine the knowledge of scientists and the creativity of designers to make use of cellulose’s full potential. The instant food package saves space in transportation by being compressed and it is made of a 100% biodegradable material from renewable sources. When hot water is poured into the package, the material reacts to the heat and transforms from a compressed package to a serving bowl. The project is honored for showing designers that they can create compelling and effective packaging out of sustainable materials. The project won the inaugural Sustainability Packaging Award sponsored by The Dieline website. SEE MORE >