Greenwash Of The Week: Sierra Club Mailings.

March 25, 2009

I hate to do it, because so many people support them (Not us, however, and if you want to read why click here), but the Sierra Club is my Greenwash of the Week today. Just last week, even though I am no longer a member and have asked them repeatedly to stop sending me junk mail, I got another large envelope from them. Inside this envelope were 11 pieces of paper, a few stickers (why??), and a few plastic windows. Here are the pictures of what they sent:







For starters, that is an awful lot of paper to send out if you are an environmental organization. Talk about wasteful! All that paper just to get people to give you money to fight for the environment? Seems they don’t think about what kind of message that may send to potential members. And on top of that, there is a ton of plastic in the envelopes too – which cannot be recycled. Lastly, they are giving away a backpack and a teddy bear if you become a member – neither of which is said to be organic cotton or some other material, but rather probably just cheap stuff from China.

I have been asking, over and over again, to be taken off their list. Yet these packages of junk mail continue to show up. And it’s not enough that they continue to ask me to be a member, either – they have to send me a pound of junk mail and offer me crappy toys to do it. What kind of organization that cares about the environment would think this was the right way to go about asking for help? These mailings just provide even more reasons (in addition to the Clorox endorsement) I support other groups and no longer support the Sierra Club.

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Filed in: Green, Greenwash • Tags: , ,

About the Author:

After a varied past of being a test driver for automotive television programs, a Hollywood studio lackey, and an online media sales director, David is now the publisher and editor of The Good Human. In his spare time he rides motorcycles, drinks good beer, and builds stuff in the garage. You can follow him on Twitter at @thegoodhuman or G+ at Google
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Comments (12)

  1. Jeff says:

    I got mine last week and needless to say, was ticked off at the waste! I ended up, unfortunately, not donating and throwing it in the trash! Shame on your Sierra Club!

  2. This is not my real name says:

    I have the same problem with Norwegian aid (similar to Red Cross). They keep sending me all this crap. I’ve emailed them now two times I think, but no reply yet. I almost feel like sending it back without a stamp, but that would be killing babies (literally). From my experience, the best way to support an organisation you like is to get your bank to send them money every month and get the newsletter via email. Have you looked into the Rainforest Foundation by the way?

  3. Allie says:

    I’m not a member anymore either – one of the reasons being those darn mailers. We’re still getting them too. I also got a very very very pushy phone call from them a few weeks ago, but at least the phone call doesn’t create waste.

  4. David says:

    I remove the plastic windows from envelopes as well, but have to toss them as no one in NM recycles that plastic. But at least the rest of the envelope gets recycled and doesn’t ruin the rest of the paper with that plastic!

  5. jason says:

    Environmental organizations should be particularly conscious of these kinds of things. I couldn’t agree with you more.

    I work for an “eco company” in which i’m the green guy. I’m always busting their balls over the littlest thing. pre-consumer post-consumer, recyclable, biodegradable, sutainable. I’m sure i get annoying to most of them.

    Tip. I recently started removing those little plastic windows from the envelops. I then put both the plastic and envelop in the recycling bin.

    keep it real.

  6. Corinne says:

    Our waste company tells us it’s okay to send the envelopes with the plastic windows. She did add they prefer if you take them out before hand but if you don’t that’s fine too. So my question is why do you say, “…doesn’t ruin the rest of the paper with that plastic!”. Are you making an assumption or do you know it’s bad. Wondering cause I don’t want to ruin the rest of the paper :)

  7. David says:

    According to what I have learned, plastic in with paper can contaminate the paper recycling. And we don’t have plastic recycling in town, so even if it did I would have to remove it anyway.

    If your recycling company says it is ok, then maybe it is. Just not sure how it is, because paper and plastic are recycled separately. :-)

  8. Flu-Bird says:

    Sierra Club completly sucks and only a freako maniac nuerotic would have anything at all to do with these bunch of blabbering stupidhead eco-freaks

  9. dhmeiser says:

    “Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone” I think you are looking for something to gripe about with the Sierra Club.

    The club does quite a lot of good for the environment on the local state and national level, Inner city outings, service programs, legal actions, political endorsements for eco-friendly candidates. As well as lobbying for legislation and developing and distributing educational materials.

    It is the only environmental org where the members the primary source of actions, in other words (for the most part) the volunteers tell the staff what to do and not the other way around.

    For your mail problem are you sure it came directly from the club and not a mailing house which claims to be Sierra? There are several fundraising companies which use this tactic and then send in only a portion of the money.

  10. Flu-Bird says:

    Sierra Clubs founder JOHN MUIR was a radical prejidiced man he was a big time racsist as well some of the awful things he said about the indians,blacks and whiteman was downright hate mongering and thats why the SIERRA CLUB is so radical and evil

  11. Holly says:

    My husband has an efficiently insulting way of dealing with it: he stuffs EVERYTHING they send into their postage paid reply envelope and mails it back to them!

    I receive lots of stuff from wildlife groups – my main concern…its true they need money badly and we just dont give enough to help them fight the good fight…but their marketing people need to learn to be greener.

  12. SPURWING PLOVER says:

    The ultimate plans of the evil SIERRA CLUB is to make the land off limits to the public why else do they support the radical WILDLANDS PROJECT and thats why we should have absolutly nothing to do with them