09/21/08 Campaign Update: Viral Video & looking at the bright side!

I can't wait for you to see the new video that was created in support of the campaign. But first...

The Numbers: As I write this, we've collected 14,866 petition signatures and 348 used filters. What will it take to get to 1,000 filters? How about filters from every state? We're still missing: Delaware, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming. Is your state listed? Send us your used filters!

Update from Clorox: After reading Clorox's 7/18/08 letter (PDF), one of our supporters sent his own letter to Clorox and received an even more positive reply. Written by Clorox CEO Don Knauss, the new letter contains the hand-written note: We do have one option that looks like it may work within the next 6-12 months. Thanks again for your interest. (View a PDF copy of the CEO's letter here.)

The Take Back The Filter campaign is not anti-Clorox or anti-Brita. We are happy that Clorox wants to do the right thing, and we want to help them get there. We also want to commend Clorox for their "Drink Responsibly" campaign to urge consumers to give up bottled water and make the switch to reusable water bottles. This action could help save billions of water bottles from the landfill each year, as well as save the energy costs of bottling and shipping water from one area to another.

Have you seen Brita's "Responsible Water" commercials? If not, you can view all of them here. That said, we are not missing the irony that while using a Brita might save plastic bottles from the landfill, the cartridges themselves remain unrecyclable.

Viral Video: Studio Freshh Audio Video has created a beautiful "subvertisement" based on Brita's own "Drink Responsibly" ads to urge Clorox to recycle its filters "responsibly." The video is up on YouTube as well as a higher res version on the Studio Freshh web site. After viewing on YouTube, please rate it, email it, stumble, digg, or embed it on your own web sites. We want to see this video spread across the Internet!

If you are reading this update in an email, you'll need to click the above links to view the video. Otherwise, you can watch the embedded version here:

The keyword here is "responsibly." We still don't know what Clorox has in mind regarding recycling the filters. Much of our plastic recycling these days is shipped to countries in Asia, where worker safeguards do not exist and whole towns are exposed to toxic fumes from plastic recycling. This Sky News video shows the sad truth about what happens to much of the unwanted plastic that westerners drop in their recycle bins.

If you haven't yet written a letter to Clorox, please do it now. Thank them for the work they are doing to create a greener world and ask how they plan to recycle the filters. Let them know we'd like the filters recycled domestically, as they are in Europe. This will not only prevent the kind of atrocities that we see happening in Asia, but will also create green jobs for us here at home at a time when new jobs are desperately needed. Write to:

Mr. Don Knauss, Chairman & CEO
The Clorox Company
1221 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94612

NY Freecycle Event: Take Back The Filter held its first collection event in NY City last weekend. According to campaign organizer, Juli:

It was just a box at the Freecycle Freemeet in Brooklyn. We distributed some mini flyers and collected six filters. That isn't much, BUT-- raising awareness is the more important point. Once people see that 'someone' is out there making an effort to get filters recycled, it generally clicks with them. It just makes sense. Once you decide to use a filter and move away from plastic water bottles, you really hate throwing those hunks of plastic filter in the trash, and it infuriates you to know that Brita EU recycles while Brita US does not.

Are you doing anything to organize filter collection in your area? Let us know. We'll write about it in our next update. And don't forget, we have a Yahoo Group set up for connecting with others to collect filters.

Here are the web sites that have either mentioned the campaign or added our badge since the last update:

Compete to Conserve
Council of Canadians | London
Design Ministry
The Green Fork
Green Talk
Oly Ost
Peacock Moon
Studio Freshh blog
Erika... with a K...
Maybe Local Vegan!
Retro Housewife Goes Green

Let us know if we've missed anyone. If you have a web site or blog, please write about the campaign. We'll mention you in the next news update and link to you on our Blogroll page!

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