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Eric Benson

Champaign, IL, United States

Assistant Professor of Graphic Design

Member since May 22, 2007

  • Vote for Re-nourish in the 2009 Cooper Hewitt Awards!

    Environment, Communication Design


    A vote for us in this competition will send a clear message to the design community that sustainable design is what design should be, not what it could be! Thanks for your help!

    vote here:

  • More bottled water Greenwashing

    Environment, Communication Design


    July 22, 2008 Last week I attended a faculty retreat where, as I sat down, was handed a bottle of Nestle Pure Life brand bottled water. Typically I don't drink any bottled water unless it is in situations where the only other choice is to dehydrate my body and consequently die. I twisted off the cap and immediately noticed the slimmer bottle design. As I turned around the bottle in my hands, I noticed a somewhat mysterious back yellow label claiming Nestle was great for the planet. The label reads:

    NestleĀ® Pure LifeĀ® is proud to bring you a bottle that is better for the environment, because it is made with up to 30% less plastic.

    I saved the bottle after drinking its contents as I recognized Nestle had committed two green washing sins (of the six): Sin of the Hidden Trade-Off, and Sin of Fibbing. The trade-off sin comes with the fact that most of bottled water drinkers are still throwing the PET plastic bottle away at alarming rates (PET is recycled around 20% in the USA - 2006 stats). However in this case, you're throwing a "up to 30% less" away. Nestle's real claim here is that they are using most likely less petroleum and energy to manufacture this bottle, preventing CO2 emissions and other pollutants from entering our air/water and of course saving them money. If you buy this bottle you get the same amount of water (amazingly) but still the pay the same price. The cost savings Nestle achieved with this bottle is not passed down to you.

    The second sin here i...

  • Sustainable Graphic Design Widget

    Arts & Culture, Audio/Visual Design


    July 15, 2008 For the completion of her Master's of Design (MDes) thesis (at Queensland College of Art), designer Becky Green developed an Apple dashboard widget. The widget quickly provides definitions, tips and links out to sites that are extremely helpful (hey like renourish!)

    If you don't have the internet and want a quick definition, this widget could be helpful. One consideration would be to add in a emissions, tree calculator so one could see the impacts of choosing recycled paper etc.

    Read more about Becky at a 57 Design + Illustration.

My Interests

  • Industrial Design
  • Environmental Design
  • Communication Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Audio/Visual Design