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Bully Your Representatives Like you Bullied Sun Chips

Leslie Back | Monday October 11th, 2010 | 3 Comments

Trapped miners in Chile are just days away from a likely rescue, months ahead of schedule. John Lennon’s 70th birthday was just last week, and I’m reminded as I write this that I would love to talk about whether we are moving closer or further away from the peace he imagined. Recent projections show a slight Republican advantage in all upcoming races and I am concerned about the impacts this outcome will have on environmental and social policy. And yes, in case you did not hear (and if you didn’t then where have you been?), Sun Chips tried and failed. The bio bag is dead.

The bag is dead and, once again, selfishness and an all-pervasive “me” attitude takes the day. Yes, Sun Chip eco-bag haters, I am talking directly to you. You think it is no big deal, right? Every time a company makes a proactive step towards the greater green and invests money and resources to reduce its footprint and then is repeatedly slammed for it, we are all set back. Your excessive campaign against Sun Chips, including those of you who stopped buying them just because of the bag, is dangerous and demonstrates that the market is not responsive to green and sustainable products. Given the environmental crisis we face (and if you don’t think it is a crisis then let me know and we will certainly cover a few pieces on that for you) we cannot afford to not give responsible companies our full support and patronage.

Look, I am not perfect and I am not wholly sustainable. My footprint is larger than I would like and I do not always make the right choices. But, I try and more importantly, I see the danger in complacency and wasted energy. I see the danger in a lack of focus. A national and noisy campaign against a chip company trying to make a bio-bag is a complete lack of focus and wasted energy. We have real issues that demand real solutions and you worry about chips? Did you try a bowl?

Alright, chip haters, I asked you in August if you really cared if your Sun Chips bag was loud? Well, I hear you. You care. Got it. Check. Now, let me ask you, what else do you really care about? You have energy and are not afraid to make your opinions known. Seems that some of you even have time on your hands. So, now that the eco-bag is dead, where will you direct that energy?

I would like to challenge you to put that Sun Chip hatin’ attention towards something real. There is an election coming up. Will you vote? Future miners will be trapped so perhaps we should investigate the overall sustainability of the industry as a whole (do we really need all that stuff?) Maybe we need to find out who, besides Yoko, is carrying on Lennon’s message of peace and use our imaginations to make it a reality. Yes, I’m preaching to you and I am challenging you. I am laying down the gauntlet and asking you to step up for the things that matter. Will you take the challenge? Now that victory is yours…


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  • Kathy

    “Your excessive campaign against Sun Chips, including those of you who stopped buying them just because of the bag, is dangerous and demonstrates that the market is not responsive to green and sustainable products.”

    Just wanted to say it wasn’t an “excessive campaign.” People who posted videos about the loud bag were simply making an observation, nothing more. No one said “you can’t buy these bags.” The market spoke on its own. This was simply a case where this one thing didn’t work quite right. I have confidence Frito Lay and others will find ways to make their packaging more eco-friendly and that people don’t find too loud to use.

    You make it sound as though the entire eco movement hinges on whether the loud bag was received well. That’s quite a leap. There are so many other things people could change that wouldn’t be anywhere near as annoying as this bag — like giving up water bottles. There should be a massive campaign against their makers. Oh, and by the way, Aquifina is made by PepsiCo, owners of Frito-Lay. Ironic, no?

    p.s. Yes, I vote.

  • Leslie Back

    Hi Kathy,
    Thanks for reading and for writing. Much appreciated.

    I did not mean to convey that the eco movement hinges on a bag, but I did mean to say that we should support fully those companies that try to reduce waste and produce better packaging.

    I hope you are right and I hope Frito Lay and others do continue with efforts for better packaging. However, I am afraid that because of this pull, others interested in more sustainable packaging might be hesitant to invest. That is a shame.

  • http://www.architectureweek.com Kevin Matthews

    The headline about pushing on representatives like people pushed about the bag is great!

    I love the concept. There’s really something there to think about mobilizing around.

    But logically, and perhaps emotionally as well, to then be critical of the succesful anti-loud-bag response, kind of undercuts the pungency of the headline!

    Which is more compelling? This…

    “Do this thing again that you did before (which BTW was dumb and overblown).”

    Or this…

    ‘Do this thing again that you did before, only, on an even larger and grander scale, on a more complex issue, longer and stronger. Go team! Make positive change in the world!’

    Meanwhile, those bags were LOUD! I was thinking about hearing damage while the one we got while traveling drowned out a phone call.

    Excess noise is a product defect. It’s a dead end to argue that environmentally sensitive products should be excused from product defects.

    We need products that are better, and environmentally sensitive – not worse, and environmentally sensitive.

    And then we need to buy less of them, because they are better – potentially balancing the economic side by paying more for things that last longer, are more profoundly satisfying, more effective, more reusable, etc.