May 2, 2012

Now in a refrigerator section near you: Sea Grant partners on "Cows for Clean Water" cartons

News and Information

People are especially receptive at the breakfast table, according to David Gordon, here with his morning cereal and one of the milk cartons carrying tips about keeping Puget Sound clean.

Washington Sea Grant

People are especially receptive at the breakfast table, according to David Gordon, here with his morning cereal and one of the milk cartons carrying tips about keeping Puget Sound clean.

Washington Sea Grant has partnered with Smith Brothers Farms of Kent, to produce a milk carton featuring “Cows for Clean Water” and offering a selection of simple steps for protecting Puget Sound such as:

  • Taking your car to a commercial car wash
  • Using compost in your yard instead of chemicals
  • Planting trees and native plants

The half-gallon milk cartons started arriving last week at 40,000 homes, nine PCC Natural Markets and other local outlets in the region.

The idea for the carton came from science writer David George Gordon.  As a member of Washington Sea Grants communications team, Gordon was looking for an inexpensive way to share information with a broad audience, without relying on conventional brochures or leaflets.

“I’ve found that people are especially receptive at the breakfast table,” Gordon said.  “Their minds have yet to be filled with the dozens of other messages they read or listen to throughout the day.”

Along with the specific tips, the cartons also direct consumers to Puget Sound Starts Here for additional ideas about helping the Sound.

The milk carton design was created by Washington Sea Grant, from print specifications provided by Smith Brothers Farms.  The only project expense was a $200 fee for making the metal plates for printing the water quality-themed panel.

“Thats really a good deal, considering how many people well be reaching,” says Gordon.  “Were grateful to the people at Smith Brothers Farms for being so supportive of our efforts to protect the health of Puget Sound.”