The Creative Circus Students Say, “Nice Backside” to Used Paper

Christina Caluda, a student at The Creative Circus, eagerly reaches for one of the free booklets made from the backsides of student papers. Photo: Marc Risik

When Blue Planet Green Living received a press release from The Creative Circus, a school that specializes in training the creative geniuses of the future in advertising, design and other fields, it seemed only natural to ask that a student write the story for us. So, we invited Sarah Gatling, a copywriting student at The Creative Circus, to submit the news article for publication. She’s a bit shy about taking credit, as she’s writing about an event she helped organize, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Here’s Sarah’s report on yesterday’s activities at Creative Circus. — Julia Wasson, Publisher

The event team posted notes saying, "Nice backside" on used paper. Photo: Marc Risik

As you might guess from its name, students at The Creative Circus, an advertising portfolio school in Atlanta, are among the most talented and creative minds in the nation. Constantly immersed in the creative process, they learn what it takes to excel in the advertising, interactive, design, and photography industries. And they learn that “what it takes” is often a lot of paper.

A small group of students realized that members of the student body were discarding more than 5000 sheets of paper per week on campus. More shocking: Most of this paper was being recycled after it had only been used on one side.

At a school where creativity reigns king, they knew something unprecedented had to be done to change the way paper is used.

Posters such as this one informed students and faculty of the reason behind the project. Photo: Marc Risik

On Monday, July 19th, students, faculty, and administration were stunned when they arrived to a campus adorned in advertisements and free notebooks made using students’ previously discarded paper. The message? Flip the page over and use the backside. Fresh ideas don’t need fresh sheets of paper.

It may seem obvious that using the backside of paper for brainstorming and sketching would drastically reduce paper usage. But students are proud of their ideas, and want them presented as nicely as possible in class. The challenge of the campaign lay in shifting the paper usage paradigms of the students and faculty.

The surprise, paper production was unconventional and well-received. The positive buzz that the advertisements and notebooks generated in the colorful hallways speaks of a greener future at The Creative Circus.

Sarah Gatling

Guest Contributor

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