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A new universal icon for sustainability now available

Thursday, December 18th 2014 12:02:49pm

The Gift of an Icon

‘Tis the season for giving, and Canada Conserves has made a new and simple icon available to the world as a universal symbol of the shift to a sustainable path: the green arrow.

“We need a single and readily identifiable image,” says Chris Winter, project director for the Canada Conserves initiative. “There are many terms that essentially mean ‘to live better with less’, such as sustainable development, conservation, eco-friendly, or green. A common symbol will help build a common bond between all kinds of projects and activities that are part of the shift to a sustainable future.”

The image is now available as a free download on the Canada Conserves website: www.canadaconserves.ca and the Adobe Illustrator file is available at http://www.canadaconserves.ca/share/greenarrow.ai. The sustainability icon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Material licensed under the Creative Commons can be adapted and adopted free of charge.

As with all icons, the key lies in simplicity. A single arrow is used to show the downward trend resulting from overconsumption being transformed into a leaner and positive future. The image reinforces a message of hope in the face of environmental decline, resource scarcity, and economic turmoil. “The icon is a reminder that we need to focus on solutions that help us live better with less,” Winter explained.

A common icon can be a powerful, unifying image. “If you Google images for recycling,” Winter notes, “you’ll get a thousand different images based on the moebius loop. Our hope is that in ten years we will see a similar proliferation of logos and icons based on the green arrow as part of a robust social movement for a better future.”

A common icon is just one of the many recommendations in “The Next Wave: Weathering the Coming Storm”, a report on the emerging new wave of sustainability leadership in Canada. The full report is available at www.canadaconserves.ca.

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For information: Chris Winter, chris@canadaconserves.ca.

Chris is currently in Istanbul, Turkey, on a world research tour.

To arrange an interview, please contact Michael Zupanic at Environmental Communication Options at mzupanic@ecostrategy.ca or 416-972-7404.