The 7th Generation Project

A Little Bit of Activism One Product at a Time...

I have been storing a little list at home, noting products or retailers that are annoying me. And it doesn't take much. By annoying, I mean in the environmental/social responsibility sense. Double packaging, just plain stupid packaging, disgusting ingredients, you name it, retailers are awesome at these things!! So when I find a silly thing happening with something in my local supermarket, for example, I let the shop know. So far in the last year I have phoned Tesco about their HUGE vitamin bottles that are less than 1/4 full, queried Oxo as to why their stock cubes come in two little boxes inside one big box, begged Asda to sell cotton buds in a polythene bag instead of a box (really people, I only need one box to last me a lifetime--ever heard of refill packs?), and even caught Yeo Valley, a should-be ethical organic dairy double packaging their yogurts. The list doesn't stop there.

But tonight I started to wonder--will giants like Asda and Tesco really give a damn if just little old me from po-dunk Northern Ireland squeaks on the other side of my lap top? Would other people such as yourselves be willing to jump on the band wagon and write to retailers for being, quite frankly, environmentally retarded? We do not live in a time where we can afford to be wasteful. So why is so much waste stil being generated by our supermarkets?

You know the little 0800 numbers on the back of the bottles, tins and boxes? Call one sometime. Let the shops know what you think. Or send them an e-mail or heck, even write them a REAL LETTER!!! Maybe if we all take this approach, we will eventually precipitate real positive changes. If you think your local supermarket or any other retailer is being environmentally or socially retarded, you should let them know.

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Comment by Ada Ketchie on October 12, 2010 at 17:36
Sherry, I love this. Thank you for your passion and inspiration.

I just had a similar explosion of annoyance in a recent visit to New Orleans, where my hotel served a fairly substantial breakfast...and every single item was disposable. Styrafoam plates, cups, plastic utensils, tiny packaged jams and cream cheese, one use paper measuring cups to put your batter in the waffle maker!...on and on. The trash was overflowing from the garbage cans. I thought, gosh, look at all these people, who are here everyday, producing this much waste...and this is one hotel of how many?! I felt purturbed. I started asking the other breakfast goers around me if they were concerned by this, if they cared (maybe not an easy notion to stomach with your single portion box of cereal). I told them, if we use our voice, make comment to the hotels, maybe we can make a difference. I think I seemed a bit zany to most, including the hotel worker who I asked if they received much comment about the disposables they use (she said no). I prodded her to pass on my concern to management. It's a small uncomfortable step to make, speaking up...but how else will things change? How else might we question the status quo, the part of us that just eats our contintental breakfast resigned, whelp, that's just the way it is. Or worse, sometimes we are just so saturated, we don't even take note. And I should mention, there was not an option to recycle, even if you wanted to. However, why recycle something that we can avoid using in the first place? ...'Look you see, The Cliffs of Insanity!'

I am with you, our earth and economy cannot afford to be this wasteful. Sister...I will stand with you, and together I believe we will make a difference. 7th Generation can make a difference. Pick a product that annoys you and write! ...Now that's retail therapy ;)

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