Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Can Environmental Differences Break Up a Relationship?

Most of us have different views from our partners especially something as controversial as global warming or deforestation but can said differences lead to the break down of a relationship?

If you’re not really a follower of Greenpeace you may not know what I’m talking about and I must confess I am not an avid follower myself but their latest campaign really caught my eye. The campaign is likely to attract a large amount of new activists and raise huge awareness because, as reported in the Londonist, this particular campaign is a winning combination of a serious message memorably delivered.  

The headlines read: Ken dumps Barbie! Now even to the none believers this headline alone is intriguing enough to make you want to read the whole story. According to Business Green environmental campaigners Greenpeace are targeting the manufactures of Barbie, Mattel, after revealing that their packaging is made from pulp from the Indonesian rainforest's. The pulp is produced by Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) who have apparently been dropped by a number of major retailers in recent years over concerns that its policies were contributing to the estimated one million hectares of Indonesian rainforest cleared each year.

Whether we are buying these toys as a gift or receiving them from someone else we are contributing and responsible for clearing areas of priceless rainforest's and threatening the endangered species which live in these habitats. Do we really want that on our conscience?

The campaign has lead to banners and posters being displayed on tubes and bus stops around London to highlight the importance of this campaign in a fun way to include everyone and not just us eco warriors out there. Barbie has been an iconic symbol for the last 50 years and almost everyone will know who she is. Hopefully, these tactics will open the facts up to everyone and make people realise that actions need to be taken. It doesn’t just stop with posters, Greenpeace have also co-ordinated a Barbie hunt whereby hundreds of dolls are hidden around the UK with chainsaws strapped to their arms and Greenpeace want you to track them down. Check out their website to see if there are any in your area.  
If you want to help protect the Indonesian rainforest you can write to Mattel’s CEO here.

© Greenpeace

Greenpeace also argue that it isn’t just Mattel who are associated with AAP, other companies such as Disney are also thought to be involved. I mean what’s next – will Prince Charming really divorce Cinderella?

It is encouraging though that in less than a week of the campaign starting, the Los Angeles Times reported that Mattel had received between 80,000 and 200,000 emails (depending on which source you trust) from people around the world and because of this, announced last week, that it would develop a new policy to make its packaging suppliers “commit to sustainable forestry management practices”. So it just goes to show that our actions really do count and that together we can all make a difference to the world.

I still have one question though can environmental differences really end a relationship? I’d like to think not as everyone is allowed to have their own opinion but it is nice to think that these issues are being discussed and that people do feel strongly enough about them to tell their partners and families and encourage environmental awareness around the home and in our everyday lives.

1 comment:

  1. This is such an effective way of getting the younger generation aware of environmental problems without boring them! I can't help but think more needs to be done though...