Archive for November, 2011

  • Corporations line up to fight wasting water If we are to understand the global water crisis, we must first ask, “Who uses more water: people, agriculture or food processors?” Secondly, we must know if the problem of lack of safe drinking water for close to a billion people on the planet stems from a lack of awareness of the importance of this issue or a failure to act appropriately. In a 2011 survey of adults living in the U.S., Dallas-based Shelton Group gave respondents a handful of environmental choices and asked them to choose just one, or they could opt for a million dollars. Thirty-five percent selected making clean water for the world a priority and only 28 percent chose to take the money. The other third of respondents picked other options: stop global warming, save the rainforests, and save the world’s endangered species. So in the case of the world’s drinking water needs, it’s pretty clear that awareness is quite high, which may be why some non-governmental organizations (NGO, for short) target their donor appeals to this cause. The result is that campaigns for humanity often employ traditional and social media advertising strategies that depict deplorable situations. But how organizations call attention to a problem of crisis proportion may just be the problem. USEPA took note of this is partnering with advertising executives in a new campaign that uses humor instead of the guilt approach in an effort to get people to conserve tap water. The “Wasting Water Is Weird” campaign employs “Rip the Drip” as its primary spokesperson. Rip – as in the guy’s a “drip,” a derogatory phrase from the 1950s applied to annoying youth — is definitely not someone you want to discover in your driveway, bathroom or kitchen. But that’s exactly where “Rip the Drip,” whose attire consists of a so-called “wife-beaters” undershirt and day old(s) facial hair growth, appears in the videos and ads in several 30-second executions initially rolled out on YouTube, and according to trade industry news reports, also to 60-plus TV markets. The premise of the omnipresent nerd in the life of the onscreen average Jane and Joe’s is to be the angry voice inside each of us that says do the opposite of what we’re being asked to do (a very sophisticated read on today’s authority-resistant culture). So, “Rip the Drip” reminds consumers who unthinkingly waste water doing everyday chores, such as letting the faucet run while brushing teeth, to think about their actions. He does this by acknowledging how much he likes wasting water. Offscreen, according to the agency’s storyline, Rip works at a water park, takes long showers, opens fire hydrants for fun, and loves listening to running faucets. Marketing professionals will tell you that it takes more than awareness of an issue to affect changes in behavior: witness anti-smoking, anti-drug and teen pregnancy campaigns. And Shelton’s own research found that over 60 percent of people already turn off the water when brushing their teeth. So, is the […]

    Humor vs. Dire Straights – Challenging the conventional NGO Approach

    Corporations line up to fight wasting water If we are to understand the global water crisis, we must first ask, “Who uses more water: people, agriculture or food processors?” Secondly, we must know if the problem of lack of safe drinking water for close to a billion people on the planet stems from a lack of awareness of the importance of this issue or a failure to act appropriately. In a 2011 survey of adults living in the U.S., Dallas-based Shelton Group gave respondents a handful of environmental choices and asked them to choose just one, or they could opt for a million dollars. Thirty-five percent selected making clean water for the world a priority and only 28 percent chose to take the money. The other third of respondents picked other options: stop global warming, save the rainforests, and save the world’s endangered species. So in the case of the world’s drinking water needs, it’s pretty clear that awareness is quite high, which may be why some non-governmental organizations (NGO, for short) target their donor appeals to this cause. The result is that campaigns for humanity often employ traditional and social media advertising strategies that depict deplorable situations. But how organizations call attention to a problem of crisis proportion may just be the problem. USEPA took note of this is partnering with advertising executives in a new campaign that uses humor instead of the guilt approach in an effort to get people to conserve tap water. The “Wasting Water Is Weird” campaign employs “Rip the Drip” as its primary spokesperson. Rip – as in the guy’s a “drip,” a derogatory phrase from the 1950s applied to annoying youth — is definitely not someone you want to discover in your driveway, bathroom or kitchen. But that’s exactly where “Rip the Drip,” whose attire consists of a so-called “wife-beaters” undershirt and day old(s) facial hair growth, appears in the videos and ads in several 30-second executions initially rolled out on YouTube, and according to trade industry news reports, also to 60-plus TV markets. The premise of the omnipresent nerd in the life of the onscreen average Jane and Joe’s is to be the angry voice inside each of us that says do the opposite of what we’re being asked to do (a very sophisticated read on today’s authority-resistant culture). So, “Rip the Drip” reminds consumers who unthinkingly waste water doing everyday chores, such as letting the faucet run while brushing teeth, to think about their actions. He does this by acknowledging how much he likes wasting water. Offscreen, according to the agency’s storyline, Rip works at a water park, takes long showers, opens fire hydrants for fun, and loves listening to running faucets. Marketing professionals will tell you that it takes more than awareness of an issue to affect changes in behavior: witness anti-smoking, anti-drug and teen pregnancy campaigns. And Shelton’s own research found that over 60 percent of people already turn off the water when brushing their teeth. So, is the […]

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  • http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20110814-LIFE-108140309   By Pam Stuppy August 14, 2011 2:00 AM The word is out — Americans in general consume too much sugar in one form or another. The recently revised Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that we modify our sweet tooth (our intake of “added sugars”). The American Heart Association goes into more detail. It specifies no more than 100 calories (25gm) a day from added sugars for women and no more than 150 calories (about 38gm) for men. Where did this sweets craving begin and how did it get out of hand? It is normal for humans to like sweet tastes. Studies show that even newborn babies prefer sweet flavors. Unfortunately, the number of sweet foods in the marketplace has grown (along with our waistlines and medical issues). Instead of sweet foods being an occasional treat, we now expect sweets more often. Tooth decay, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other health concerns are associated with this change in dietary habits. Another problem is that these foods tend to be lower in nutrients than the less sweet options. The good news is that there are a number of small steps you can take to move toward the recommendation to reduce your sugar intake. Gradually weaning yourself to lesser amounts of sugar will allow time for your taste buds to get used to the change. If you crave sugar, it may be because of the type and timing of your food intake throughout the day. Leaving wide gaps between eating episodes leaves you vulnerable to grabbing the nearest sweet treat — and often over-consuming it. A better idea is to preplan healthy meals and snacks with gaps of no more than about three to four hours. Protein and fiber in a meal or snack slow down the digestion of carbohydrates. This means the carbs provide energy over several hours instead of rushing in and getting used up quickly, leaving you craving a quick energy fix. There are also ways to modify the amount of sugar you consume through cooking and shopping tips. Think of all the times you add sugar to foods or beverages and see if you can gradually wean yourself to lesser amounts. When it comes to baking, try cutting the amount of sugar in a recipe at least in half. You can also add sweet-tasting ingredients that add flavor without added calories — like sweet spices (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, etc.), extracts (vanilla, almond, anise, coconut, etc.), or zests (lemon, lime, orange). Other ingredients that add nutrients as well as a sweet taste might be pieces of dried fruit (raisins, dried cranberries, dried apricots, dried plums, etc.), fresh fruit, applesauce or other fruit purees (you can also use these as a topping for pancakes instead of syrup). Examples might be muffins with dried fruit or oatmeal with applesauce and cinnamon. Try replacing breakfast pastries or doughnuts with healthier whole grain options — like whole grain toast topped with peanut butter and sliced banana. If you are a […]

    Healthbeat: New guidelines advise Americans to modify their sugar addiction

    http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20110814-LIFE-108140309   By Pam Stuppy August 14, 2011 2:00 AM The word is out — Americans in general consume too much sugar in one form or another. The recently revised Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that we modify our sweet tooth (our intake of “added sugars”). The American Heart Association goes into more detail. It specifies no more than 100 calories (25gm) a day from added sugars for women and no more than 150 calories (about 38gm) for men. Where did this sweets craving begin and how did it get out of hand? It is normal for humans to like sweet tastes. Studies show that even newborn babies prefer sweet flavors. Unfortunately, the number of sweet foods in the marketplace has grown (along with our waistlines and medical issues). Instead of sweet foods being an occasional treat, we now expect sweets more often. Tooth decay, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other health concerns are associated with this change in dietary habits. Another problem is that these foods tend to be lower in nutrients than the less sweet options. The good news is that there are a number of small steps you can take to move toward the recommendation to reduce your sugar intake. Gradually weaning yourself to lesser amounts of sugar will allow time for your taste buds to get used to the change. If you crave sugar, it may be because of the type and timing of your food intake throughout the day. Leaving wide gaps between eating episodes leaves you vulnerable to grabbing the nearest sweet treat — and often over-consuming it. A better idea is to preplan healthy meals and snacks with gaps of no more than about three to four hours. Protein and fiber in a meal or snack slow down the digestion of carbohydrates. This means the carbs provide energy over several hours instead of rushing in and getting used up quickly, leaving you craving a quick energy fix. There are also ways to modify the amount of sugar you consume through cooking and shopping tips. Think of all the times you add sugar to foods or beverages and see if you can gradually wean yourself to lesser amounts. When it comes to baking, try cutting the amount of sugar in a recipe at least in half. You can also add sweet-tasting ingredients that add flavor without added calories — like sweet spices (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, etc.), extracts (vanilla, almond, anise, coconut, etc.), or zests (lemon, lime, orange). Other ingredients that add nutrients as well as a sweet taste might be pieces of dried fruit (raisins, dried cranberries, dried apricots, dried plums, etc.), fresh fruit, applesauce or other fruit purees (you can also use these as a topping for pancakes instead of syrup). Examples might be muffins with dried fruit or oatmeal with applesauce and cinnamon. Try replacing breakfast pastries or doughnuts with healthier whole grain options — like whole grain toast topped with peanut butter and sliced banana. If you are a […]

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