Wednesday, March 25, 2009


So, for today's save-the-world tip, we WERE going to recommend boycotting Kleenex.

And why would we ever want to give up the softy soft on our tushy tushes, you ask?

Well, because according to the Greenpeace email I received, Kimberly-Clark, Kleenex’s parent company, "clears ancient forests, essential in fighting climate change and providing a home to wildlife like caribou, wolves, eagles and bears, to make disposable products that are used once and then thrown away."

Clearly, anything that outright harms the wolves and eagles is a no-no in our house.  And that is that, as far as Chago is concerned.  For Amy, Saia, and I, though, well, we've got a little bit of an issue with scraping our noses and tushies with sandpaper.  

And I know some people will argue that it's a small price to pay to help the environment.  But, you know what, there's got to be a better way, and it's NOT such a small price, people.

Greenpeace further recommends purchasing products from companies like Green Forest, Natural Value and Seventh Generation, but suggests shoppers avoid products made from Charmin, Angel Soft and Kimberly–Clark. 

They've even provided a handy-dandy little cheatsheet you can cut out and keep with you for when you go shopping to help you determine for yourself how much your pocket book can absorb to help save the planet.  And wasn't that helpful?

But how am I gonna pay for the recommended paper on which to print the handy-dandy little cheatsheet, let alone purchase the Greenpeace-approved products when they easily cost twice as much, if not more than (when you take into consideration sales and coupons) the oh-so-evil-brand-not-be-mentioned-again-lest-we-appear-to-be-promoting-it? 

And yes, I do understand, logically, why organic products and products that are better and safer and healthier for the world and all its occupants must cost more to make (sorta), but THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT IS MAKING IT SO HARD FOR THE REST OF US TO HOP ON THAT BANDWAGON!!  It's not that we don't want to contribute to the sustainability and energy conservation movement.  It's that it's gonna break us to do so.

So, trying to do my due diligence, I read among a host of statistics on the Kimberly-Clark website that:
By 2009 we anticipate that our use of
fiber from Canada’s Boreal forest will be
reduced by nearly 70 percent from 2007
levels. This substantial reduction is the
result, in large part, of our stated preference
for fiber from Forest Stewardship Council
(FSC) certified suppliers.

So, WTF?? I mean, it's bad enough that choosing those obviously good-for-you products with little green trees or the "all natural" or "organic" stamped all over it already has me bending over at the cash register.  But is it even necessary anymore? 

Are the EPA and watchdog organizations like Greenpeace not doing a good enough job monitoring these big guys that we can now begin to trust that they too are making reasonable efforts to conserve their planet? And even if we don't believe that they're making changes for our sakes and the sake of our children's children, can't we at least recognize that the changes ARE INDEED happening?  That sustainability is now one of most major company's corporate objectives?  That it has become beyond necessary for a company to remain competitive in this market that they MUST include traceable, quantifiable, and significant efforts towards energy and planet conservation?  Or, hell, that they just can't afford the negative publicity and just don't want to be boycotted anymore?

And if they ARE trying to do better, and have shown significant improvement over the years, should we continue to punish them by only buying earthy-crunchy stuff at Whole Paycheck Foods?  I mean, where does positive reinforcement come into play?

So, I guess my central thorn here is that I'm just not sure anymore what I should be doing.  And it irritates me that someone is always lying about something just to one-up someone else.  And yes, I realize this a capitalistic society, but protecting the planet has become a moral imperative.  I mean, HASN'T IT, for f*ck's sake?!?!?

Shouldn't we all be working together right now to educate and advise the global population of the best course of action for our own sustainability (as a whole) regardless of who gets the biggest profit?  Can't we call a competitive truce for 5-7 years?  Develop some sort of Earth Consortium with representatives from all major corporations who agree to a price-freeze for a given period of time?

Alright, I know, nevermind.  Clearly I've gone over the edge.

But my point is, what the hell am I going to shop for on Saturday that's good for my family, helps our environment, and still fits within our dwindling budget?  Where's THAT cheatsheet?  And who's compost do I have to sort through to get to it?

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