Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Chickens, PepsiCo, and the greening of our future

Is it possible that greenies have finally shouted loud and long enough about saving the planet that business is being forced to pay attention? Is green manufacturing (at least to some degree) becoming a marketing necessity?


I had lunch yesterday with my friend, green activist and WMRA listener Pat Foreman who, I think it's safe to say, is helping save the planet with chickens.

Pat, I hasten to add, can back up whatever she says with both experience and data. She is the author of  the fabulously readable and inspiring City Chicks and the about-to-released third edition of Chicken Tractor.

Pat Foreman also co-hosts, along with the Chicken Whisperer, the weekly blogtalk radio show, Backyard Poultry.

I always find it impossible to have lunch with Pat Foreman and not have my respect for chickens increased. These birds, it seems, not only produce eggs and the best garden fertilizer, they are also two-legged clean plate clubs. If I had chickens, Pat said, they would happily eat all the left-overs I don't.

True to her mission to fuel chickens and thus help save the world, Pat took home my lunch leavings to feed her flock. "Potato chips," she says, "are a real treat!"

Chicken on potato chips?  drawing by Pat Foreman
So anyway, after lunching yesterday with Pat, I was thinking about the creative use of left-overs as I turned on today's Morning Edition. And lo-and-behold, there was Linda Werthheimer informing me that PepsiCo, (whom I assume would be unmoved by other than market pressures)  has done something with its own left-overs that has huge potential to help save our sweet old world.

Here the PepsiCo ta-da!, according to FoxNews.
PepsiCo Inc. on Tuesday unveiled a bottle made entirely of plant material, which it says bests the technology of competitor Coca-Cola and reduces its potential carbon footprint. 
The bottle is made from switch grass, pine bark, corn husks and other materials. Ultimately, Pepsi plans to also use orange peels, oat hulls, potato scraps and other leftovers from its food business.
Left-overs again;  I would bet this time being recycled solely in the interests of a multinational company's bottom line. reports this truly giant step in the greening of American society this way:
Pepsi bottles have gone green by using 100% non-plastic, plant-based material that they say reduces their carbon footprint. ...They add that their new bottle bests the efforts of Coca-Cola, which only uses 30 percent plant-based material in their bottles. 
"This is the beginning of the end of petroleum-based plastics," said Allen Hershkowitz, a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council and director of its waste management project. "When you have a company of this size making a commitment to a plant-based plastic, the market is going to respond." 
Rocco Papalia, senior vice president of advanced research at Pepsi, adds that the bottle is “indistinguishable” from traditionally-made plastic bottles.
So, we are to have our "plastic," our corporate profits, and get a bit greener, as well? It's almost too good to believe, isn't it?

In November of last year, Martha Dudley held forth from atop WMRA's Civic Soapbox about  the evil inherent in a plastic water bottle. She focused on two points:
First: It never goes away but spends its eternal life in our landfills. In 2008 seventy percent of plastic water bottles went to those landfills. No one seems to be counting how many ended up clogging our waterways, floating in our oceans, and killing marine life. 
And second: Plastic is made from the very same oil that spilled so disastrously in the Gulf of Mexico. 
I think we can all agree that the future of our planet looks a tiny bit greener today, thanks to PepsiCo.

Not to mention, Pat Foreman and her chickens. . .

1 comment:

  1. Yes, Iheard about the bottle made entirely from plant material by PepsiCo, but what about the content? Will be bio or organic?!