Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Barbie: No Longer the Gorilla My Dreams

Mattel, home to Barbie and Ken as well as a host of other easily-recognizable toys, has gotten itself into hot water with a group not easily dissuaded...not because Barbie's dimensions are so other-worldly or because such toys perpetuate sexist stereotypes, but because it and other companies are contributing to the destruction of rain forests in Indonesia...responsible for loss of habitat for many jungles creatures that might otherwise make cute toys. And Greenpeace caught them at it...and exposed the companies like Mattel, Hasbro, Disney and LEGO. But it's Mattel that's taking the brunt of the environmental onslaught.
Indonesia has the third-largest rain forest in the word after the Amazon and the Congo. In addition to preserving a habitat for the amazing wildlife, such forests are known to be great carbon sinks: absorbing much of what we humans spew into the air and rendering it relatively harmless. To destroy the forests in Indonesia for palm oil and mixed tropical hardwood (MTH) used in packaging toys seems a great waste. Palm oil is an ingredient in a lot of Nestle products, though Nestle does not use palm oil from Indonesia...any more.
It did until last year when Greenpeace sponsored an ad featuring an employee biting into a Kit Kat and spewing blood from a severed orangutan finger...a visual that had a million hits on the internet in two weeks and caused such an outpouring of anger that Nestle decided to the environmentally friendly thing and cease using products that contributed to deforestation. Other "attacks" have caused both Staples and Home Depot to order their paper products from companies other than Asian Pulp and Paper, the company responsible for ripping out 40% of Indonesia's rain forests in the last 50 years...with eyes on at least half of what remains.
Now, Greenpeace is going after Mattel whose toy packaging features pulp from the Indonesian rain forests. With annual sales of 5.9 billion dollars, Mattel can hardly afford to turn a deaf ear to the protests, especially when things like this are all over YouTube:

I'm glad somebody is out there doing something positive for all of us instead of just for himself/herself/his party/her party.
You go, Greenpeace!


At 10:34 AM, Blogger Timmy said...

Very instructive article, many of the facts in it I have never heard before.

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