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Sierra Club v. Sierra Club
Clorox recently introduced a line of cleaning products "made from plant-based ingredients” which are "sustainable, non-allergenic and biodegradable...not tested on animals and are packaged in bottles that can be recycled." The Green Works products have been endorsed by Sierra Club and carry the NGO’s logo. In return, the group receives a share of the proceeds from sale of the products.

While the Clorox – Sierra Club agreement is in the financial self-interest of each organization, that doesn’t change the fact that the net result is to encourage the mainstream use of "eco-friendly" cleaners. Who could object?

Some Sierra Club chapters are leading the opposition to the Sierra Club’s endorsement with the entire board of directors of a northern Michigan Sierra Club chapter resigning in protest. A former chapter leader claimed that the Sierra Club "sold their soul to the highest bidder." Most perplexing was the former official stating that the "Sierra Club has been fighting against Clorox for decades, trying to get them to be responsible. Now we're partners with them? It doesn't make any sense." Apparently the activist is unable to understand the concept of victory since the Green Works products demonstrate that the company is being responsible.

Other critics of the agreement said that if "the Sierra Club aligns with should be a smaller pioneer in the field..." A company official explained that smaller manufacturers’ "products aren't as widely available...and are more expensive. The goal is to make green cleansers as popular with Wal-Mart shoppers as with patrons of organic co-ops."

Ultimately, grassroots activists need to decide just what they are trying to achieve. Are they really trying make a substantive environmental difference, or do they prefer to remain cloistered professional protesters whose opposition is its own reward?

See news story

See Green Works website

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