Friday, April 4, 2008

Here's some good advice!!

A writer needs three qualities: creativity, originality, clarity and a good short term memory.
Resist the temptation to roll up the trouser-legs of convention, cast off the shoes and socks of good taste, and dip your toes refreshingly into the cool, flowing waters of fanciful analogy.
If there’s a word on the tip of your tongue that you can’t quite pin down, use a cinnamon.
Mixed metaphors can kill two birds without a paddle.
Visit for more of this sound counsel!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

LCBO serves up eco-packaging innovations

Carey Toane -- Strategy, April 1, 2008 Tuesday
The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) is launching its first
eco-awareness campaign this month. Envirochic highlights products with alternative packaging, such as Tetra Paks, PET, aluminum, reused glass and bag-in-a-box.
Among the innovations is an aluminum wine bottle from Burgundy vintner Mommessin which turns colour when the wine reaches its optimal temperature.
"They're fun, and quite fashionable," says LCBO VP marketing Nancy Cardinal, adding that the new packaging materials are also lightweight and unbreakable. "There are lots of things you can do in addition to being better for the environment."
LCBO president and CEO Bob Peter first issued a challenge to suppliers to develop packaging alternatives in 2005. That year, the LCBO introduced the first wine in a Tetra Pak, French Rabbit. The next year saw the first wine in a PET bottle. Now the LCBO carries over 200 products in those two materials.
"It's been quite incredible how the suppliers have stepped up to the plate and embraced the challenge," says Cardinal. "We couldn't have had this promotion really until this point, and there's just so much that we can showcase as part of Envirochic."
The challenge was part of a larger corporate goal to eliminate 10 million kg of waste per year; that target has since been surpassed by an additional four million kg annually. Annual sales of alternatively packaged products now exceed $120 million.

Very clever and beneficial design

Project H Design Fundraiser- Sponsor a Hippo Roller!by Emily Pilloton
H is for Humanity, Habitats, Health, Habitats, and HIPPO!
Project H, an organization that promotes, inspires, and delivers humanitarian product design, is funding 50 Hippo Rollers for a series of 17 villages in Kgautswane in Northeastern South Africa. Hippo Rollers, if you haven’t seen them before, they are amazing barrel devices that allow the millions whose livelihoods depend on the daily fetching of water to more safely and efficiently access and transport water. The roller holds 3-4 days worth of water for a family of 7, about 5 times the amount of water that can be moved using traditional methods, which frees up time for more productive economic and educational activities. It’s an amazing product and an amazing story of good design enabling communities.
For $100 you can sponsor the manufacturing and delivery of one roller in your name, which will be personally delivered to a family in Kgautswane this April by Project H Design. If you believe in the power of good design, here’s your chance to show it! Check out the Hippometer to see how many rollers have been funded to date.
Visit for some really interesting approaches to green design. Great site.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Two blogs you should check out

My friend and colleague Len Rosen has a great new blog that is rich with practical techno information for the small business and SOHO market. Len has the rare ability to understand what goes on behind the curtain with new technologies but make it as simple as the Wizard of Oz for the rest of us. Check out

The other blog is a tremendous source of creative inspiration. Created and maintained by my friend and client Lara McCulloch of Regal Tent Productions, this site is deep resource of innovative ideas which revolve around the special events industry. I find it useful purely as a thought provocation device. Visit

Eight in 10 shoppers say food is over-packaged; FOOD PACKAGING

ALEX STEPHENS -- The Evening Standard (London), March 28, 2008 Friday
A CONSUMER backlash against over-packaged food and drinks is revealed in a survey today.
It found almost 80 per cent of Lon-don shoppers now believe supermarkets use too much packaging on their food items.
Seventy per cent said they tried to buy products with minimal packag-ing and 80 per cent felt some foods did not need any at all.
The increasing environmental concerns of shoppers have prompted stores to redesign packaging and so improve their green credentials.
These include big names such as Tesco, which recently reduced ready-meal packaging by 35 per cent, and specialist producers such as the Seri-ous Food Company, which sells pud-dings in reusable ceramic dishes.
A spokesman for Mintel, which carried out the survey, said: Retail-ers are coming under increasing pressure to introduce eco-friendly packaging. It is no longer enough for a pack to look good.
The survey found 77 per cent of Londoners recycle some or all of their supermarket packaging. How-ever, London still sends 3.4 million tonnes of waste a year to landfill , at a cost of £24 per tonne. Some experts forecast this could rise to almost 23 million tonnes by 2020.
Luke Vincent of Dragon, a brand agency that advises companies on package design, said: These findings are no surprise. There has been a shift in peoples values. They are increasingly aware of environmen-tal issues and with that comes guilt.
Customers expect manufacturers to make it easier for them to do the right thing . We want to go shopping and not feeling guilty. Packaging is not always the most significant issue when it comes to green credentials, but it is very tangible, which is why it has become important . Environmentally friendly packag-ing shows a company is modern and of good quality.
Andrew Peace Masterpeace wine £5.99 Previously only available in glass bottles, these wines now also come in Tetra Pak cartons, which use fewer resources in production and transport.
Tesco Healthy Living ready meals (sample price £3.41) The amount of packaging has been reduced by 35 per cent by replacing the old-style plastic tray and cardboard sleeve with a single, microwave-compatible tray.
Ribena 90p for 500ml bottle Bottles are now made from 100 per cent recycled material (previously only 40 per cent) and are recyclable.
Innocent Smoothie £1.75 100 per cent recycled plastic in 250ml bottles, an increase from an original recycled content of 25 per cent.
Jordans organic muesli £2.78 for 700g.
Packaged in a film bag that can go straight into the garden compost bin.
Green & Blacks miniature bar collection £4.99 New packaging is smaller and uses Forest Stewardship Council-accredited card made from wood fibre taken from sustainable forests.
Village Bakery organic rye bread £2.19 Packed in biodegradable and compostable bags. Previously sold in thin polypropylene bags.