Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Taking Money from the Enemy

Non-profits often struggle for money, right now seems to be worse than ever, but should they take that funding from just anyone? What if the funding comes from a group that seems to be the enemy? Well, some groups seem to be looking the other way when it comes to the practices of the groups they are associating with.

This is not a new story, this has been happening for a long time. You have cancer organizations taking money from products that are linked to cancer, the Sierra Club has joined up with Clorox, and in my own town a cement plant is funding a green expo. This seems to be going on everywhere and the latest one to come to light is the National Wildlife Federation joining up with Scotts Miracle-Gro.

Yes a group that's mission is to stop climate change and "safeguarding America's wildlife and wild places" has teamed up with a corporation that makes billions of dollars a year selling pesticides and other chemicals, including Roundup, which is owned by Monsanto. How is this going to "safeguard" our "wildlife and wild places"?

So is what Scotts has to offer worth the price? According to Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of NWF, it is. He had this to say in a press release from Scotts.

"National Wildlife Federation and Scotts are committed to getting millions more children to play outdoors on a regular basis. This relationship is a win for American childhood, because together we will help families raise healthier and happier children who have a lifelong commitment to protecting wildlife and the natural world."

Sounds nice, I agree that kids should be outside more but do you want your kids playing in a yard that was sprayed with Roundup? And how can a company that makes products that harms wildlife and "the natural world" be committed to protecting it?

Let the National Wildlife Federation know how you feel about them teaming up with Scotts.

Update: NWF and Scotts are replying to posts on FB. Here is the NWF reply-
"I'm really sorry that you're disappointed with this. Please know this isn't an endorsement of all Scotts products, but an endorsements of environmentally sound products within the Scotts line to ensure the continued growth of their organization in a more environmentally friendly manner."

Scott's reply on one of the comments-
"I work for ScottsMiracle-Gro and can assure you that this partnership in no way means that NWF endorses our products. I can also tell you that we have no intention of influencing NWF’s Certified Wildlife Habitat program, which we greatly respect and support."

I feel people will take this as an endorsement and how can Scotts support something their products couldn't be apart of? Seems like a classic case of greenwashing to me.

Photo Credit: Valley_Photographs


Green Bean said...

Hear, hear, HEAR!!! I'm so glad you wrote about this, Lisa. The excuse of getting rids to play outside is utterly ridiculous. All of NWF's work toward "backyard habitats" make this decision particularly mind-boggling. I've given them a piece of my mind on their FB page. I hope other readers follow suit. If the Keystone Pipeline taught us anything, it is that speaking out works.

Eco Yogini said...

ugh, i hate this stuff- like all the "pinkwashing" that happens during breast cancer awareness month.

I understand that times are tough, but we'll never make it out of this mess unless we actually make real gestures towards helping our planet (not one step forward for BOTH those who harm and hurt it).

Of course Scott Miracle Grow PR reps now exactly what attaching their name will do: associate them with an environmentally legit organization thus giving them "cred".

If that's true for Scott, I'm sorry but it's also true for the NWF.

Brenna @ Almost All The Truth said...

So true! I have huge issues with non-profits teaming up with companies who have nearly the opposite actions that they are working against. If it was about the money, then the CEOs and Boards of these companies could give money - this is greenwashing at its finest.

Harriet said...

Thanks Lisa..such a tough one, and important to discuss..no easy answer..we see this happening in politics too..very strange "bedfellows" these days..we need keep "calling it out" like you are doing, and force transparent about these relationships and connections..


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