Posts Tagged ‘package’

Loretta Lau’s Timmy Petition

November 30, 2007

care2Petition logo I’d like to draw your attention to an online petition which attempts to influence Tim Hortons® (Canada’s largest food service operator) to do more toward addressing it’s harmful behaviour than simply putting anti-litter messages on it’s packaging (click HERE to view the petition).

logoI’d also like to highlight a similar initiative by a group of local student activists. EnviroWestern’s Mug Team is trying to get “as many as people on campus to utilize travel mugs as possible.” Very nice.

Why are we so complacent in the face of commercial enviro-assaults? Have we convinced ourselves that nobody will pay more than lip service, or that we’ll only be ignored completely? Too busy to bother, do we assuage ourselves into believing that somebody else will eventually confront the problem?

Please have a look at these petitions and consider giving them your support. It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort, it doesn’t cost you anything, and it’s a whole lot better than doing nothing. Because, by remaining silent, you’re still making a statement. But, is it the one that you want to make?

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Links:
2007/11/28 – FMBS: Making a difference …
2007/11/30 – Gazette: Curb waste with biodegradeable cups

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How Red Is Your Meat?

November 15, 2007

imageWhen you shop for meat, what influences your purchase decision?

If you’re like most people, you’ll pass up the brownish-tinged steak for the one beside it that’s noticeably red. So, in an effort to cut it’s losses, the meat industry is reported to be adopting the practise of fixing the meat’s pigment by treating it with carbon monoxide. And when this tactic is coupled with a type of packaging that further maintains the low-oxygen atmosphere, it’s said that the meat keeps looking red “not just longer, but almost indefinitely.”

A 2001 EU report warns that “the presence of CO may mask visual evidence of spoilage.”

I ran a search on the Health Canada website but it didn’t turn up anything useful, so I dashed off an email inquiry. Here’s the answer I got:

Date: Thur, 15 Nov 2007 12:22:12 -0500
From: Health Canada
To: Gregory Fowler
Subject: Re: WWW Form Submission

November 15 2007,

Dear Mr. Fowler,

Thank you for using Health Canada online.

The use of carbon monoxide in food products is not currently permitted under the Food and Drug Redulations.

Thank you for writing.

Food Directorate
Health Products and Food Branch
Health Canada

So that’s good news. Provided that “Redulations” means regulations.

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Links:
2006/02/20: Washington Post – FDA is Urged to Ban …
2006/02/21 – USA Today: Groups protest use…
2006/09/26 – Food Quality News: Carbon monoxide in meat products…
2007/10/30 – Alberta Govt: Lawmakers Introduce Bill…
2006/09/26 – Food Quality News: Carbon monoxide in meat products…
2007/11/14 – Treehugger: More on Giving Meat the Tailpipe Treatment

Timmy Environmentalism

August 26, 2007

In Save 40 Bucks a Year at Tim Hortons (London Commons; 2007/08/24), Annmarie decries disposable paper cups. And she’s right to do so. Discarded Timmy cups seem to be everywhere. They’re a frequent eyesore at LTC stops, even the relatively few locations that actually happen to have a waste receptacle (I won’t rant about the LTC benches with the built-in but sealed-up waste receptacles here… that merits it’s own future post).

Annmarie suggests that TH’s will reduce the cost of a coffee by 11 cents for those people who bring their own mug. But even if that’s true, should we jump to the conclusion that TH’s cares a hoot about our environment? Isn’t it equally possible that it’s simply a calculated, economic decision? By the time you figure in the purchase/replacement costs, handling/washing, etc. of cups and plates, isn’t it possible that TH’s simply figures that paper products costs the company less? After all, it isn’t as if TH’s has to pay the costs of dealing with discarded product once it leaves their stores. It isn’t as if London levies a tax on such things in order to recoup the cost of having to deal with TH mess.

 
Click on either image to enlarge.

Ever see one of these? If you’ve ever ordered one of their donuts or cookies, etc. then you’d have to be pretty quick not to. It’s as if all of their employees are trained to give you a paper product by default

And it makes no difference if you happen to be an in-store customer. It doesn’t usually even matter if you specifically tell them that your order is “for here” instead of “to go.” In my experience, it often doesn’t matter if you specifically tell them “I don’t need a bag.”

And of course, each of these orders is accompanied by up to a half-dozen paper napkins. It doesn’t matter that the bag may only contain a single item. It doesn’t matter that each customer table has a dispenser from which the customer can help themself to however many they may require (usually fewer, I’m guessing). It doesn’t matter if they’re used or not. Just toss them in the garbage on your way out.

I haven’t seen much evidence that the Tim Horton company cares about the environment. Oh sure, they spend some of their advertising bucks trying to convince you that they’re a good corporate citizen, but how often do you see any truth in advertising? By extolling you to “Respect the Environment” on the back of their bags, I suppose they’re hoping that you will jump to a conclusion that they care. But does that qualify as proof?

When Tim Horton’s starts to serve up everything on china, by default, and customers are required to specify paper in order to get products that way, then maybe I’ll be willing to consider whether or not they actually give a damn besides anything other than their bottom line.