Green Groups Turn the Heat Down on National Geographic But Up on KFC
By D. Eadward Tree
The environmental group that aimed a "Practice What You Print" campaign against National Geographic for not using recycled paper says it is now engaged in "productive discussions" with the magazine.
Frank Locantore, director of the Better Paper Project, revealed the discussions in a comment today on Dead Tree Edition's article, What Exactly Is Environmentally Preferable Paper? Acknowledging that there is more to "green" paper than recycled content, he called for "a broad cross-section of stakeholders" to establish measurements that will lead to making paper more environmentally friendly.
Here is Frank's comment in its entirety:
I've wanted to post a comment to this blog for a long time now. But, there is so much here to comment on that it has been hard to figure out where to begin. First, I want to thank DTE for repeatedly trying to get a conversation going about this. My hope is that the conversation finds a different venue than on-line commenting. It is really difficult to substantially and meaningfully discuss this issue without the benefit of being in the same room with one another.
My three comments are these:
1. As the Director for the Green America Better Paper Project, I'd like to clarify - we are NOT protesting National Geographic. We are actually in some productive discussions with them and hope to be able to report out on the results in 2012.
2. I don't understand the claim that paper is not going to landfills when over 25% of landfills consist of paper, in fact, that is the largest single component of landfills. One could argue that the increasing demand for recycled paper has made paper's percentage of landfill waste decrease in the past decade. Something we should all be proud of.
3. I agree that there is no simple answer to the question of what paper is "greenest." However, I don't think that it is an impossible question to answer. Can we not work collaboratively as industry, NGOs, govt's, and the public to create a list of metrics that can help determine the environmental "health" of paper? My doctor checks my cholesterol, blood pressure, weight, etc. to give me an analysis of how healthy I am. Can't we do something similar for paper?
Is there any appetite to convene a broad cross-section of stakeholders to discuss and determine metrics that will continuously improve the environmental characteristics of paper? I hope so.
Just two days ago, Greenpeace activists hung ahuge banner showing a Sumatran tiger and the message "KFC: Stop Trashing My Home" on the fast-food chain's corporate headquarters.
Dogwood Alliance was already using itsKentucky Fried Forests campaign to criticize KFC's use of International Paper food-packaging products that allegedly result from IP''s destruction of Southern U.S. forests.
Now Greenpeace is upping the ante, claiming "The Colonel's been keeping his chicken fresh with packaging made from rainforests" because KFC also buys products from Asia Pulp and Paper, which has been widely criticized for destroying Indonesian rainforests.
Both NGOs are having fun with riffs on KFC's fast-food packaging. Dogwood Alliance has created a mock Kentucky Fried Forests chicken bucket depicting a chainsaw-wielding Colonel Sanders. The bucket is shown on "Get Forest Destruction For Free!" coupons that activists have handed out at KFC locations.
Greenpeace this week released a series of videos showing animated KFC food packages revolting against the company's paper-purchasing practices. In one, the Colonel drawls, "So what if I make a few tigers homeless."