A couple of months ago, I wrote about Clorox’s FilterForGood campaign which encourages people to buy a Brita water filtration pitcher rather than buy plastic bottles. I felt their marketing campaign was an oxymoron. At one hand, they were promoting their Brita pitcher as saving the Earth from horrid plastic bottles but on the other hand, the Company refused to take back their filters, which would end up in a landfill. Brita in Europe was recycling theirs. This just did not make any sense to me.
Beth of Fake Plastic Fish and Take Back the Filter took matters into her own hands and started a campaign to urge Clorox to take back the filters. She urged people to send her their filters and to sign a petition. She established a Take Back the Filter Facebook page, Yahoo Group, and a MySpace Page. Her story appeared in the NY Times. Ideal Bite listed it in one of their daily tips. By the time Terry’s petition received over 16,000 signatures, Clorox finally caved. Ah, the power of social media! (Is that kind of like Helen Reddy’s song, “I am woman, hear me roar?” or should it be “I am a blogger, hear me roar?”)
In order to recycle the filters, Clorox entered an arrangement with Preserve , a company who makes household products out of recycled materials. Preserve will collect them and re-use them to make their products. You can either drop off your filters at participating Whole Foods or mail them to Preserve. For instructions, see here.
Why did Clorox cave? Beth stated in her interview with Vanessa Farquharson of Green as a Thistle, and a journalist for the National Post,
““Brita is obviously a huge company, but Clorox was already taking steps toward improving its environmental image, like with its Greenworks line of natural cleaning products, which were developed with the Sierra Club. So we weren’t really pushing a huge boulder. It was moving slowly to begin with — we just got behind it and helped to push it faster, and in a slightly different direction.”
Personally, I think Beth is being modest. She did a great job capturing their attention and Clorox saw the handwriting on the wall. Kudos, Beth. (President Obama, do you have a cabinet position for Beth?)
On January 30, she will be delivering over 600 collected Brita filters at 8 a.am. to Whole Foods at 230 Bay Place in Oakland, California as part of the kick off of the recycling program. If you live in the Oakland area, and want to see history being made, read Clorox’s recent press release on the who, what, when and where details. Just realize it is tomorrow!
Not all Whole Foods are participating in the recycling program. Each store has the right to choose. So, if your store is not participating, urge them to get on the recycling stick.
Got a cause you are passionate about? Take some tips from Beth.
“1) First, conduct research — a lot of it. ‘Find out what the company is already doing, what their position is and what factors are involved.’
2) Put out feelers. ‘See who else is concerned about the issue and what organizations are already doing something or may get behind you.’
3) Connect online. ‘Get in touch with bloggers, the media or other connected, influential people. Being creative by making little icons and badges that bloggers can easily put on their sites also helps.’
4) Don’t go after a company that has no desire to change. ‘Start with companies that are already moving in an eco-conscious direction.’
5) Pick up the phone and call people. ‘You never know who will support you, so just start talking to anyone who will listen.” (These tips are part of her interview with Farquharson.)
So, what have we learned? Create your own campaign on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, or any of the other social media websites. There are free petition sites such as Petition Online, Care 2’s start a petition, and Petitionspot just to name a few. Perhaps, create a free website on Blogger or WordPress to talk about your wishes for change. Make this world a better place. Just like the Nike slogan says–Just do it!
So, what would you like to see changed in the world? Although mine is pretty insignificant, I can’t stand plastic plant pots. Millions must end up in a landfill every year because growers will not take them back. I need to take my own advice and stop moaning about it and do it the Terry way. (Catchy, huh?)