Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lego Greens Up - A Post From My Son

I am reposting this as you may not have realized it was contributed by my son, Michael, who will be entering DePaul University (one of the greenest colleges in the U.S.) this fall:
As soon as I could hold my own head up and get to moving my baby fat riddled arms I’ve been stacking blocks of some sort. And I can definitively inform that the title for best building bricks around belong to LEGO. These colorful cubes can be attributed to some of the happiest moments of my childhood. Little did I know that when ripping apart the cardboard packaging, I was contributing to the deforestation of the Indonesian Rainforest. Up until recent events Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) had been LEGO’s packaging supplier. Thanks to recent action by Greenpeace kids can assemble their rocket ships and fantasy lands with a clean conscience with LEGO suspending relations with APP as well as declaring that their new products will be made with recycled materials and all paper products will. Mattel has even succumbed to pressure, from Greenpeace and LEGO’s newest statement, announcing that they too will cut their ties with APP. They even went so far as to have a banner with Ken telling Barbie “It’s over, I don’t date girls that are into deforestation.” Hopefully these recent policy changes are from an ideological shift in term of environmentally friendly practices and not just the clever PR responses to a gotcha moment by Greenpeace. As with any global conflict, solutions tend to not be so black and white. In APP’s response to the incident basically highlighted the fact that FSC certification is only applicable towards areas converted from forests after 1994, which automatically excludes a vast majority of plantations in the developing world and favours the North American and European manufacturers who have dominated the industry for 100 years. Though I am sure there is probably a reason for this rule it does raise a question of exclusionary practices in the green movement. Let’s hope that this movement continues as one of global inclusion and unity, uplifting the environment as much as the people inhabiting it.  

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