Unable to Mind My Own Beeswax, Part 2

Glitter Symbols - ImageChef.com Bee the change you want to see in this world.

I’m a little late to Sarcastic Mom‘s challenge to go green, but better late than never, eh? And this post has been kind of backed up from my Unable to Mind My Own Beeswax, Part 1 post, in which I got a bee in my bonnet about finding an affordable biodegradable waxed paper. I’d previously looked into options here, and they weren’t cheap and the wax used was often a petroleum by-product.

Plus, I’ve always wanted to launch a meme and see how far it goes.

Turns out beeswax is a good alternative to soy. Beeswax can be used in all different kinds of ways: just look here. More than you ever thought possible to know about beeswax here. It’s a sustainable business that works well in non-industrialized countries, according to this source.

So here’s what I propose: let’s all write emails or letters (or comment on the Burt’s Bees blog) addressed to the CEO and President, John Replogle, saying that we would purchase inexpensive soy- or beeswax-made waxed paper made with unbleached paper if Clorox made it. After all, that same NYT article on Burt’s Bees (see Beeswax, Part 1) mentions

Clorox sells many products that have nothing to do with bleach — including Brita water filters, Glad trash bags [emphasis mine] and Hidden Valley salad dressings.

Maybe there’s some sort of intra-company synergy that can be used to facilitate the manufacture of unbleached beeswax-waxed paper and maybe even ultimately biodegradable garbage bags.

This is a tiny experiment in a meme for a better world. What if we could persuade a big corporation to listen to us, moms who make brown-bag lunches (dads too), green bloggers, horrified watchers of An Inconvenient Truth, and Crunchy Cons* as well as Neo-Hippies? Wouldn’t that be cool?

Let me know in the comments section if you’ve sent in a copy. Let’s call it an experiment in participatory consumer product development. I made a “green bee/Bee the Change” badge in case you want to put this on your blog to show your support. Link back here and I’ll give updates, if any, on the feedback we get to our request. (Heaven forfend if our little movement has ugly badges! Horrors!)

Draw Customized Symbols - ImageChef.com Go ahead, paper your blog with it. You know you wanna.

Here’s the company contact information:

633 Davis Dr Ste 600, Morrisville, NC27560

Tel: (919) 998-5200

Web Site: www.burtsbees.com

This is for you blingy mamas. You know who you are.

Here’s the letter I drafted and snail mailed, which you can copy and alter to your tastes:

February 10, 2008

John Replogle

President and CEO, Burt’s Bees

633 Davis Dr Ste 600

Morrisville, NC 27560

Dear Mr. Replogle,

I’m writing with a new product suggestion I hope you’ll develop: biodegradable unbleached waxed paper.

It may sound a bit far afield from your usual line of Burt’s Bees and Baby Bee cosmetic and health care products. I know you make lotions and creams with ingredients good–and safe–enough to eat, if you had a mind to. But as a company that incorporates several million tons of beeswax a year into your products, maybe you could partner with your parent company, Clorox, and together come up with an inexpensive solution to conventional, nonbiodegradable paraffin-waxed papers.

So far I haven’t been able to find a truly biodegradable waxed paper, made with unbleached paper and non-toxic wax, to use as a wrapper for my son’s snacks at preschool. Wouldn’t it be great if he and all his classmates could just toss used biodegradable waxed paper into the worm bin or compost bin when they’re done with lunch?

If you were to offer an alternative, I’d bet a lot of parents would really go for it. You already have the biodegradable wax part of it down, how about the unbleached paper part? Think how many plastic sandwich bags could be substituted with a much earth-friendlier alternative.

I’m urging all my parent friends to chime in with their support to let you know there’s a market for this product. If you make it, we’ll buy it.

Thanks for listening.

Sincerely,

Me (Definitely), and You (Maybe?)

Went a little crazy at Image Chef. Can you tell?

*Hat tip to Huffington Post articles by Kenny Ausubel (“Honey, We Shrunk the Planet”), and Jennifer Nix (“Crunchy Cons, Obama, and Election 2008″) for highlighting the “Crunchy Con” phenomenom.

6 thoughts on “Unable to Mind My Own Beeswax, Part 2

  1. Jen,
    Delighted to have you on board!

    I’m waiting to see if my comment gets posted to the moderated Burt’s Bees Blog. Doesn’t hurt to send in the message there–somebody’s gotta check that email.

    Cheers!
    Cynematic

  2. Hi. It sounds like an excellent idea. But I’m just a little worried about splitting my energies where Clorox is concerned. I have a campaign going to ask them to develop a take-back recycling program for Brita water filter cartridges, since this type of program exists for Brita in Europe. Have you read about it? I have set up a Yahoo Group and everything:

    http://www.fakeplasticfish.com/labels/Brita.html

    So, while I love the idea of Burt’s Bees creating wax paper out of beeswax, and I totally support it, I don’t want to confuse things by getting involved in more than one Clorox campaign at a time.

    Also, did you know that the beeswax that Burt’s Bees uses is imported? Might want to check on that a bit more. I don’t have all the details. I just know what a beekeeper friend told me.

    Beth

  3. Hi Beth,
    Good to hear from you! No worries, I understand about wanting to keep your Clorox campaign separate from this one. But please do help get word out.

    Love the recyclable filters idea. Wish you success on that.

    I’m aware that the beeswax Burt’s uses is overseas in origin, but hope that it can be Fair Traded much like coffee. Not to mention we can encourage their use of domestic production of beeswax.

    Cynematic

  4. Pingback: The Great Plastic Challenge, Week #4 « P i l l o w b o o k

  5. Hmm, I will look into this!

    Strangely today on a bee topic, I was wikipedia-ing apiaries. I read a article about how bee colonies are declining and was vaguely interested in being a hobbyist. But, no, bees freak me out too much and I’m sure keeping beehives in my yard would make my neighbors would hate me even more.

  6. Pingback: Unable to Mind My Own Beeswax Update, part 3 « P i l l o w b o o k

  7. i-less on

    “Wouldn’t it be great if he and all his classmates could just toss used biodegradable waxed paper into the worm bin or compost bin when they’re done with lunch?”

    Or, you could not throw the paper away; re-use it
    Or, you could not use paper but a cloth, saving a great deal in manufacture, transport and sourcing costs!

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