Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Snarky Snacks

With as much data as there is pouring in about how we are wasting our planet's most valuable resources at a terrifyingly rapid pace, you might think that most people would "get it" by now. You know. Using CFL's instead of standard light bulbs. Trading the giant Hummer for a smaller, less gas guzzling model. Recycling at the most basic levels. Simple stuff, really. Even my most un-green friends have a basic understanding of why sustainability and green living are important, even if they're not quite ready to buy recycled toilet paper yet. Because if anything, being green is cool. It's hip. And more importantly, being green is marketable.

Claiming planet love really rakes in the dough. Of course, there is nothing wrong with making consumer products for eco-friendly. There is a market for these products after all, and I'm one of the consumers they are after. I guess what bothers me is that if there were no major profits to be had in making chemical free cleansers of low VOC paints, the companies simply would not manufacture them. Case in point: SunChips. The snack food giant Frito Lay had recently revamped it's packaging for SunChips. The new bags were made from a biodegradable material that could be composted, thus significantly lessening the environmental impact of SunChips production. It seemed to work. However, some idiot (I'm not a professional....I can say what I want!) started a Facebook group about how loud the new SunChips bags were and the company, fearing a drop in sales, nixed the biodegradable bag and switched back to the original packaging. 


That's right. The bag made too much noise. Seriously? So instead of saving millions of pounds of non-compostable plastic from being thrown into a landfill, we're going to revert back to the old packaging because a small number of consumers complained about noisiness whilst partaking of our snack. Okay. First of all, if you start a Facebook page about how noisy your snack bags are, you have waaaay too much time on your hands. Secondly, I can't believe that there are still so many people who refuse to give up an ounce of comfort for the stability and well being of generations to come. Are we really so selfish that we can't see the much bigger picture?

Yes, I'm standing on my soapbox here but really. There are times when I am ashamed to admit that my generation, recently dubbed "Generation Me" are a self centered, shallow, entitled, and all around clueless lot of people. There is no foresight, no thought to the future. Giant corporations like Frito Lay hold the power to make huge changes across the industry but in my opinion, they have seriously dropped the ball on this one. They are putting profit before planet And for what? If there was a legitimate concern with the bags....say, the new biodegradable bags made the chips taste like feet.....then yes, I say switch back and revamp. But because they are too noisy? Money talks...apparently louder than a biodegradable SunChips bag.

P.S. I know there at least 58 of you who read this on a semi-regular basis. I want your opinions. What do you think? Please leave a comment!


10 comments:

  1. My opinion is...I love you. I wish I for one were more like you and kind of wish the rest of the world was, too! You keep standing for what you believe in sister because i know that you will make a difference! I love you!

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  2. My opinion is that it doesn't make a big difference either way. Both kinds of bags were just Frito-Lay's efforts to make their customers happy and increase profits. Both bags were, let's face it, going to end up in the landfill where garbage is piled so deep it has no chance of decomposing whether or not it was compostable to begin with or not.

    I read this article in National Geographic before where they excavated a landfill from the 70s (this was in the late 90s) and found entire hot dogs still fully whole and looking normal. Nothing can decompose without oxygen. Those chip bags would decompose if someone put them in their compost bin, but how many people were really doing that?

    It kind of bugs me when companies pull the "biodegradable" card to win customers, because I'm sure they know that only a very tiny percentage of whatever it is will have a chance to biodegrade at all. They don't really care about the environment, in my opinion.

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  3. @ Laura...ewwwww! Whole hot dogs? That's disgusting!

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  4. I wonder if local councils limited our garbage pick up if that would make people more active? I agree with Laura that only a minute ammount would actually be composted, but I also agree with you that the big companies have the power and only worry about the bottom line! If our bins were smaller, would we all recycle and compost more?
    I'm from Australia, by the way, so I have no idea how the garbage system works in the US.
    Oh, and I agree, whole hot dogs, gross!!!

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  5. Too noisy???? I didn't think they were too noisy!!!! LOL! I so crack myself up. Of course, the hearing impaired don't really care about the noise!!!

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  6. Its great that a company would attempt to make their packaging more eco-friendly, but I totally agree with you about the person/people supporting the facebook page. Seriously, too much time on your hands? Get a life?
    Of course, now we have to start our own facebook page to bring back the biodegradable packaging, and hope the company will listen to us greenies. Still, the more this goes back and forth, the more free advertising they get, right?

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  7. Also, I reckon this guy's onto something - a good reason for everyone to only eat fruit and veg:

    http://www.30bananasaday.com/photo/a-month-of-trash-for-me?context=user

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. I hear your frustration, Stephie, We live in a consumer-driven country, so big corporations are going to do what they think their customers want without regard to the environmental impact of their actions. As consumers, all we can do is vote with our dollars and try to be aware of stuff like this (which most people probably are not). It's hard to be an environmentalist sometimes... but it's nice to know that there are like-minded friends out there!

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