Does Trouble at The Times-Picayune Signal the End of Daily Newspapers?

Times-Picayune Newspaper

Very soon, New Orleans could become the first major city in the U.S. to not offer a daily paper. Beginning this fall, Advance Publications, Inc., owner of the 175-year-old Times-Picayune newspaper has plans to offer the paper only three days a week.

“Almost nine million people visit New Orleans every year. What message is sent when there is no daily local paper to provide the news, sports, and local information that these visitors need?” (Ralph Brennan, President of the Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group)

In response to the announcement, New Orleans metro area advertisers and businesses are fighting the measure by joining The Times-Picayune Citizens’ Group and urging that the newspaper remain a daily publication. Advertisers and local business leaders say that the daily paper is a key contributor to the success of their individual businesses and to the economic vitality of New Orleans. The Times-Picayune reaches 75% of the New Orleans population every day.

“For this city to be considered a major U.S. market in the eyes of international companies, the Times-Picayune‘s daily printing is critical.” (Tiffany Adler, Vice President of Coleman E. Adler & Son)

While that may not mean much to you if you’re not a local, could this be a sign of things to come elsewhere? If your local paper made a similar move, how would it affect businesses and advertisers in your area? Leave a comment below!

Sources
Will the Newspaper Industry Save Itself by Reinventing Online Advertising?
Major Advertisers Join Citizens’ Group to Save Times-Picayune, Urge Owners to Print Seven Days
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Designing Solutions to Bottled Water

In the spirit of Blog Action Day 2010, let’s talk about water. We’re pretty lucky here in America; despite our access to clean drinking water in nearly every home, our own taps and public drinking fountains, we’re still ready and willing to pay for it. “So what,” you say? Before unscrewing the cap on another overpriced bottle of water, consider a few points:

  • According to TriplePundit, Americans now drink an average of 200 bottles of water per person every year here in the states.
  • Producing those water bottles accounts for more than 17 million barrels of oil annually.
  • Over 80% of the water bottles produced will never be recycled.
  • One-third of the bottled water we readily pay for comes from the same sources as tap water.

Bottled water is leaving an enormous impact on the environment, our natural resources – and our wallets. So what’s the solution? Designers the world over are taking multiple approaches to solving the problems that bottled water presents and are putting very viable solutions into action in some of the most practical ways you could imagine.


Public Water Fountains

The Bottled Water Alliance, in partnership with Culligan Water is aiming to reduce the ever-growing amount of waste produced by bottled water by bringing the fresh filtered water to the streets of Sydney, Australia. Apart from using filtered drinking water, the idea is essentially no different from your average drinking fountain. Fountain heads designed by Street Furniture Australia for the initiative were created in direct response to the obvious problems many individuals have with drinking from a fountain (poor hygiene, unreliability and vandalism), that causes many individuals to resort to bottled water. Thus far, the Bottled Water Alliance claims that the six fountains installed in Sydney to date have prevented the purchase of approximately 150,000 litres of bottled water or nearly 250,000 plastic bottles.


Bottle Refill Stations

In another similar effort to bring more sustainable alternative to clean drinking water, GlobalTap is encouraging the use of reusable bottles and has crafted their solution around this idea. Created by Chicago-based architect Daniel H. Whitman, GlobalTap is a project that aims to provide public access to clean drinking water through implementing a system of reusable bottles and refill stations in high-traffic metropolitan areas. In 2009 a pilot station, designed by IDEO, was installed in San Francisco, California. Basic manufacturing and assembly techniques allows each and every GlobalTap station to be built, installed and maintained with minimal cost and effort worldwide. Where the safety of water is of special concern – in developing countries, for example  – the GlobalTap system can accommodate for internal filters and new filtering technologies as well.


Biodegradable Bottles

Maybe we’ll never rid ourselves of the plastic bottle. If that’s the case, then shouldn’t we focus some effort on making those bottles more sustainable? North Carolina-based Primo Water is doing just that with implementing America’s first and only biodegradable, plant-based material in its bottles. The material, called Ingeo PLA, is a corn-based plastic produced by NatureWorks. Primo Water features the PLA bottles in their single serve bottles (16.9 fl oz), sold in 18-count packs nationally.


Paper Cartons

A few companies have scrapped the idea of the bottle altogether in favor of an arguably greener, more sustainable alternative: paper cartons. In 2009, start-up company Boxed Water is Better, began distributing purified water in milk cartons beginning with the idea that paper packaging is greener than the standard-issue plastic bottles used today. In addition to each carton being readily recyclable, nearly 80% of each cartons’ composition derives from green-certified trees.

O.N.E. World Enterprises, which produces O.N.E. Water, also has its own version of a plastic bottle alternative. Made primarily of paper, the material for each BPA-free Tetra Pak comes from responsibly sourced, well-managed forests and can be recycled.

The next time you’re thirsty and won’t settle for tap water, consider one of these viable alternatives. It might have a larger impact that you think.

Permanence Matters Campaigns for Literary Longevity

“Can you imagine how our world would be changed without meaning being memorialized by the written word? No Bible or Koran. No Gettysburg Address… no way to capture and sustain the great ideas, perspectives and whimsy of mankind,” (George H. Glatfelter, CEO, Glatfelter)

Permanence Matters, a division of global paper supplier Glatfelter, believes the best way to preserve books for future generations is by printing them on paper that lasts, rather than on the groundwood paper that’s being used in increasingly by publishers today. The organization argues that groundwood paper – the stuff that many first editions, bestsellers, literary prize winners and textbooks are printed on – begins showing wear & tear after just a few years of use and is unfit for standing the test of time. In addition, there are concerns that this increasing use of groundwood paper could result in serious consequences to our literary history if it continues. Some 1 million new titles printed on groundwood are entering the Library of Congress each year — and that’s only a fraction of the number of new books being added to library collections around the country (Permanence Matters).

To help spread their message, Permanence Matters turned to advertising agency BooneOakley to assist them with bringing about visual representations of the company’s mission: preserving the written word – forever. The result of BooneOakley’s creativity are some fantastic examples of print advertising that viewers of all ages can instantly connect with. Whimsical scenes from some pillars of literature (Treasure Island, Gone With the Wind and War of the Worlds) are beautifully combined with an infinity symbol, creating images that require little or no explanation.

Chipping In

McKinney, a North Carolina-based agency specializing in branding whose clients include Audi, Golds Gym and Sony, recently worked with Sherwin-Williams to develop a multifaceted advertising campaign consisting of TV, print and online media. Four individual print ads feature original paper sculptures created by Matthew Sporzynski, who used multiple color chips/swatches to create each sculpture: flowers in a vase, a toy giraffe, a bird house and an ice cream cone. The campaign focuses on the process of selecting a color and how color can be used to tell a story while showcasing the immense selection of colors – 1,500 of them – available at Sherwin-Williams’ paint stores. The ads will appear in a number of publications, including Architectural Digest, Better Homes & Gardens and Good Housekeeping. Find more information and content on McKinney’s website.

A Sustainable Shoebox for PUMA

Clever Little Bag

As sustainable packaging practices are becoming ever more popular, many businesses continue to question whether or not such practices are worth the associated price tag. While it may have cost more to go with that special grade of PCW paper a few years ago, there simply is no reason not to incorporate sustainable materials into manufactured goods today. While big business continues to question the price tag associated with “going green”,  our landfills continue to grow at a fearful rate, aided in part by the enormous amount of excess packaging and material which is continually produced by these companies only to be thrown out later.

Boxes contribute to millions of tons of waste each year, and even with proposed second uses, they are eventually thrown out (Communication Arts).

Fortunately, PUMA is one of the industry giants that is trying to do their part to lighten the load we place on the environment. The shoemaker recently partnered with award-winning industrial design and branding firm fuseproject, which churned out what founder Yves Behar calls the “Clever Little Bag”. Intended to conform to PUMA’s long-term sustainability program, this revolutionary new packaging system is designed as a cleaner, greener solution to the tissue-filled shoebox of yesteryear.

Clever Little Bag 2

The result of 2,000 designs and 21 months of packaging research, this innovative packaging system uses 65 percent less cardboard than the standard shoebox, ships for less and eliminates the need for a shopping bag. Adorned with the PUMA logo, each recyclable bag serves a dual purpose as it protects the shoes in each package and can then be used as a tote post-purchase. Only a single, die-cut cardboard element is used in each package and requires minimal assembly.

PUMA claims implementation of this new packaging system will cut water, energy and fuel consumption through the manufacturing process by more than six percent a year, saving over eight tons of paper and one million liters of both water & fuel oil. In addition, the new system is projected to save an equivalent of 275 tons of plastic retail bags and will keep 10,000 tons of CO2 out of the air. PUMA plans to implement this new system in 2011.

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