I used to be a big supporter of The Sierra Club – we gave them money every year, we received their magazines, we signed their petitions. But that all stopped not too long ago when I heard that they were endorsing Clorox’s new line of “non-toxic” cleaners…supposedly in exchange for an undisclosed amount of money. Clorox has a long history of making incredibly toxic chemicals, damaging the environment, and continuing to test their products on animals while the rest of the world moves away from the practice. This is what The Sierra Club has come to stand for and endorse? Seems I am not the only one fed up with this blatant hypocrisy by a supposedly “green” organization. From PR Watch:
In an unprecedented move by one of the Big Green environmental groups, the “Sierra Club’s national board voted March 25 to remove the leaders of the Club’s 35,000-member Florida chapter, and to suspend the Chapter for four years.” What did the chapter do? According to Peter Montague, it was “highly critical of the national board’s decision in mid-December 2007 to allow The Clorox Company to use the Sierra’s Club’s name and logo to market a new line of non-chlorinated cleaning products called ‘Green Works.’ In return, Clorox Company will pay Sierra Club an undisclosed fee, based partly on product sales.” When grass-roots members pointed out that Clorox was fined $95,000 for violating U.S. pesticide laws just as the deal with the Club was being brokered, staffer Johanna O’Kelley dismissed Clorox’s culpability, saying their violation was “a technicality.”
There are plenty of real natural cleaners made by independent, smaller companies that A. actually care about the environment and B. do not test on animals. How about Seventh Generation, Method, Ecover, Ed Begley, etc? Oh how nice it would have been if they could have endorsed one of these companies…but that probably wouldn’t have gotten them such a big influx of cash for their coffers.
This is from a blog post I came across that I found very telling – “What we are watching is perhaps the final chapter of the conversion of the Sierra Club ”‘ on a national level ”‘ from an activists driven organization to a corporate driven organization where the interest of the Sierra Club as a corporation invariably trumps the interest of the Sierra Club as an activists’ organization.”
The Sierra Club obviously no longer cares about the environment – it’s all about greenwashing the consumer in exchange for corporate money, so I can no longer support any of their efforts. I know one person doesn’t make that big a difference to their bottom line, but I would love to somehow find out how many people stopped being members once this news came out. I stopped using Burt’s Bees products when Clorox bought them, so it is only right I stop supporting The Sierra Club now. How can anyone trust anything they endorse from here on out?
John Muir is rolling in his grave as I write this.