Seventh Generation Joins Growing Movement to Oppose Expansion of Tar Sands | Seventh Generation
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Seventh Generation Joins Growing Movement to Oppose Expansion of Tar Sands

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Author: Chris Miller

At Seventh Generation, we have always sought to bring to market the most effective, natural, and sustainable household and personal care products.  Since the beginning, we have focused on designing products from plants, not petroleum.  We have worked hard to reduce, not just the environmental footprint of our products, but also the impact of how we get our products to market.  We manufacture our products regionally, so we don't have to ship from one coast to the other.  We have also moved to shipping tons of our products by rail instead of truck.  Over the last 5 years, our operations team has reduced the ton-miles, or the number of miles a product travels from manufacture to store shelves, by over a third.  We are proud of this work our team has done. 


But, we believe we also have an obligation to weigh in on an incredibly important debate, at this time, in our country.  Whether or not fuels derived from Canada's Tar Sands should be a part of our energy future, in the United States.  And we believe the answer to that question is no.  We believe instead of building a multibillion dollar pipeline to move new sources of fossil fuels to the United States, that we should instead be focused on how we use less fuel, not more.  That building a massive new pipeline, that crosses our entire country from north to south, commits us to another generation of addiction to oil.  That's the wrong direction for our country and our environment.


Which is why we are pleased to be working with our Friends at Forest Ethics.  They, in conjunction with others, including fellow Vermonter Bill McKibben, to fight the expansion of Canada's Tar Sands.  And why we have publically pledged to work throughout our supply chain to identify the sources of fuel used to move our products to market, and make continuous and ongoing progress in reducing the fuel that comes from refineries that process feedstock from Canada's tar sands.


It's not going to be easy, but it's the right thing to do, and we are committed to doing the right thing.  If you want to learn more about Canada's tar sands, visit Forest Ethics to learn how to get involved.  And we will keep you updated on our ongoing journey towards a more sustainable future.


photo: ForestEthics


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The tar sands will be developed. The questions are how fast, how much environmental damage, and where will the pipelines go? Some in Alberta want the refining done here, which would still mean pipelines to markets for refined products, including fuels. Raw bitumen pipelines could go to the west coast, then to China, or Ontario to be refined there, or to the USA in Texas, and be refined there, or to Norway, and be refined there, or all of the above. The extent of the tar sands is massive, they contain 40+% of the world's oil reserves, so they will not be allowed to be left stagnant in the grould. Already natives and others living downstream of the tar sands are developing cancers at 5x the previous rate for the area, as are fish and other wildlife. Thus, deaths are already one bad result. This is just the beginning. The focus on the environment has to be equally massive to even slow this process, and all the world depends upon that. I appreciate the dedication of all who attempt to decease this problem. Not accepting it into your nation may not be the most helpful solution. We need you to address the environmental damage continuously and vigorously! We need all to decrease the need for oil, not only at home and at your work, but for all of industry. That is a massive change of the foundations of our societies today. Thank you, A Canadian