Is Kony 2012 tony, or phony?

Kony 2012—the slick and emotional video by Invisible Children that has been circling the internet through Facebook posts, reblogs, and other forms of viral marketing—has been under attack this week. Critics are claiming that is irresponsible, self-serving, and a ploy for mass merchandising.

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When do labels become too much of a green thing?

Source: Greenbiz.com

When does green labeling become so ubiquitous that it loses all effectiveness? The Eco Label Index lists 426 different green logos. It also provides a database with filtering that lets you search by region, find out what research they are doing, and compare them—for a fee.

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Greenwashing with totes

Steven Heller’s recent post asks the question “Are There Too Many Totes?” Heller’s article talks about how when used correctly totes can reduce the number of disposable bags. Conversely, if used incorrectly (with the massive onslaught that many of us see daily) the canvas or polypropylene bags have the potential to become another blight that will end up in the landfill.

MFA grad Jessie McGrath argued in her recent thesis that “the idea of sustainable design is an illusive goal because a product can never be truly sustainable by virtue of the fact that it is a product.” (Read more)

Most people want to do the right thing; they just may not realize the full implications of taking or buying more totes when offered. Why not comb your closets and reuse the ones you already have?

What about the role that graphic designers play; are they practicing sustainability when they design more totes for the ever-growing eco-friendly bag business?

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Greenwashing comes in pink too

Cause-related marketing can be of great benefit to both parties involved, as long—as it’s authentic.

National Breast Cancer Awareness month just celebrated 25 years in October. During the month-long celebration all kinds of products can be found in pink—everything from M&Ms to bags of chicken feed. But not all campaigns are created equal, and not all actually contribute to the cause.

Read more in the USA Today article “Some ‘pink’ products do little for cancer research” (http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2010-10-31-pinkwashing_N.htm?csp=usat.me)

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How much do students know about ethics?

In the Spring of 2010 I conducted a survey among undergraduate graphic design students to find out how much they know about ethical issues in graphic design. The results showed that there are many issues they know little or nothing about.

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