02/03/2011 07:49

Ad targeting overbuying at supermarkets part of the ministry’s new PR campaign entitled “Starting to Think Green.”

The Environmental Protection Ministry launched a new ad last Wednesday night targeting overbuying at supermarkets.

The move is part of the ministry’s new PR campaign entitled “Starting to Think Green,” illustrating the links between environmental protection and economics.

The new ad is a takeoff of the supermarket ads that show a woman attempting to fit massive numbers of grocery bags into her car. In the ministry’s ad, two women are bragging about how much they buy, when comedian Tal Friedman, the star of the ad series, pulls up in a garbage truck and suggests they just dump some of the bags into the truck directly since they’re just going to throw it away later anyway.

A ministry-commissioned survey indicated that an average family throws away about NIS 350 worth of food every month.

Eighty-nine percent of respondents said they had thrown away the food because they bought more than they needed, while 41% said the food was bought on impulse at the supermarket, and when they got home, they found it didn’t taste good and just threw it away.

The ministry has gotten involved in consumer habits because throwing out extra food contributes to the amount of trash. The ad suggests taking a grocery list to the supermarket instead of just roaming the aisles.

Thirty percent of the 1.5 million tons of urban trash is food that was stored incorrectly and spoiled before it could be eaten, the ministry said.

The survey was carried out in December among a representative sample of 510 men and women.

Other ads featuring Friedman include one to encourage people to recycle paper and one about heavy-footed driving, which causes more pollution and uses up more gas. Starting and stopping suddenly are not as efficient as keeping a steady pace and braking gradually.

With the dual aims of raising awareness and providing tools for behavior modification, the campaign also links environmental actions to cost-saving measures. According to the ministry, the average family can save more than NIS 500 a month by implementing the small changes the campaign promotes.

The campaign will target several specific areas where small changes can make a big difference, such as: responsible purchasing of food, keeping public areas clean, green driving, using less paper and recycling paper, and conserving electricity, the ministry said.

The campaign is being featured on TV, radio, billboards and via the ministry’s website (