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Dr Pepper TEN Commercial Promotes Littering

I saw this commercial for the first time the other day. Apparently there’s some controversy surrounding the commercial because of the soda’s tagline, “It’s not for women.” As a woman I wasn’t offended by the tagline as much as I was about the message this commercial sends about littering. Marketers are always trying to come up with new ways to appeal to different groups of people and garner attention along the way, so I didn’t think twice about the misogynistic tagline. If I want to drink the soda I will, regardless of what’s in the commercial. Doesn’t the Coca-Cola Company steer its Diet Coke marketing toward women? The Dr. Pepper TEN campaign is just being more obvious about it and going for shock value. I don’t think it’s a great way to go, but I’m not offended or surprised by it.

The part of this commercial that bothered me was when the ever-so-rugged leading man crushes the Dr. Pepper TEN can and tosses it out of the jeep, thereby setting off the trap for the bad guys behind them. When I saw this part I instantly thought, “Who is going to pick that up?” Seriously, what is this company thinking? They’re essentially endorsing the littering of their product. I know that sounds a little extreme, but it really bothered me to see the soda can tossed out of the car. Like it was an okay think to do. Like he does it every day. Like so many people do.

It was never more evident to me after seeing that lame commercial that littering is a socially acceptable thing to do. At least it must be to a majority of people. Based on this commercial, based on the litter I see around me, and based on the people I actually see littering out and about, we need a serious change in thinking. It’s not okay to toss a Dr. Pepper TEN can or anything else out of your car when you have no intention of picking it up. As a writer and producer of television commercials I like to think that I would never create something that sent such a horrible message. I know there is a more creative way to sell Dr. Pepper TEN than by excluding women and trashing our planet.

Ready for the kicker? The Dr Pepper Snapple Group cares about the environment! Or at least their website claims they do. Check out this page from their website on Environmental Sustainability. Under their Corporate Social Responsibility Report section it says, “Protecting and sustaining the environment is at the heart of our corporate social responsibility program.”
Um, Earth to DPS corporate headquarters– you might want to let the folks at the advertising agency know about your corporate social responsibility program ASAP.

Today’s Trash: Dunkin’ Donuts

Dunkin' Donuts litter

America Runs On (and drives over) Dunkin'

Today’s trash was picked up at Hanson Farm Park in North Haven, CT.  This lovely “forever cup” from Dunkin’ Donuts was greeting park visitors until yesterday.  But have no fear fellow earth lovers, this piece of trash is now in a bag in my car! ( Not great, but at least it’s better than where it was!)

I actually heard ducks quacking in the nearby brook when I got out of my car to pick up the cup.  It was a little unexpected treat that made me smile as I bent down to grab the flattened styrofoam.  I took it as a little thank you from nature.  It was a nice moment that I wouldn’t have had if I didn’t stop to pick up that garbage.

Perhaps you too will have a nice moment of your own if you stop to pick up some litter.

Our world is a beautiful place full of unexpected goodness that might only be discovered when one does something unexpected!

And on a side note, this is just ONE example of the D & D trash that I see.  It is all over our roadways and filling our streams and parks.  I think it’s about time companies like Dunkin’ Donuts start cleaning up their mess.  Or at the very least educate their customers about why littering is bad and how they don’t want their name associated with the trashing of America.  We all play a part in this garbage mess and it’s time we ALL start doing something about it!

McDonald’s Cookie Wrapper from 1987 found in 2012

Grimace

After all these years, Grimace is still grimacing.

I found a wrapper yesterday from a package of cookies that used to come with a McDonald’s Happy Meal.  (You know, before they went all “healthy” with the apple slices.)  I spotted the well-preserved fast food plastic packaging while picking up trash in my yard and instantly recognized the wide-eyed purple character on the package. It was Grimace! “Wow,” I thought as I picked it up. “I wonder how old this is.”

I flipped it over and was pretty surprised to discover that it was made in 1987.  I’ll do the math for you.  This wrapper has survived, fully intact, FOR 25 YEARS.  That also means that this wrapper was from a Happy Meal that was made when I was 13.  (You’ll have to do your own math there.) Heck, it could’ve been from a Happy Meal that I ate.  Theoretically anyway!

Talk about putting the importance of recycling into perspective!

As just one example, it’s quite likely that the wrapper from the candy bar I ate as a child when I went to see E.T. for the 5th time is currently resting comfortably in a landfill, looking just as good as it did 30 years ago.  (And sadly, I don’t even remember eating that candy bar.  I do however, remember seeing E.T. many times at the movie theater.  I know I improvised the candy part, but I’m sure I must have eaten one plastic-wrapped snack while I was there. Probably a few!)

I couldn’t begin to count (or remember) all the Happy Meals I ate as a kid.  It’s sad to think of all the garbage that is sitting in landfills because of me.    That’s not the legacy I want to leave behind.  I hope that’s not the legacy McDonald’s wants to leave behind either.

It's scary how good this wrapper looks after 25 years.

 
 

Every Day is Earth Day

My husband says I ask too many questions.  But I’ve always been an idealist and want to know why things are the way they are.  “Doing what is right” is a credo I try to live by.  That’s part of why I started this blog.  For years, I’ve been deeply bothered by the site of litter along our roadways, in our parks, and even in my own yard.  My feelings finally pushed me to start this blog after I spent a couple of hours picking up trash from the perimeter of my yard.  My house sits on a corner lot in a rural neighborhood.  On a road that’s not busy per se, but is used as a cut through.  So I do expect a little trash in the yard.  What I did not expect on this particular day is that I would stuff two large contractor bags with so many bottles, cigarette butts, beer cans, coffee cups, plastic bags, food containers and other debris that I would have to drag the bags back to my garage because they were just too heavy to carry.

Granted I’ve lived in my current house for two years and have never gone out to pick up trash from the yard, but I was floored by the quantity of garbage that has been carelessly tossed out of car windows and onto my property.  I’ve lived on much busier roads and have never had so much litter in my yard.  I spoke to one of my neighbors while I was out there and she said the previous owners always had problems with trash as well.  (Not surprisingly this topic never came up when we bought the place! )

I could go on, but the bottom line is that littering is wrong.  And someone will eventually have to pick up that piece of garbage you cavalierly tossed out your sunroof.  (At least that’s how I imagine it.  As how can someone huck a piece of trash with no regard for what happens to it once it’s released into the wild?)  I was tired of looking at the garbage in my yard so I took some time and cleaned it up.  If we all took a little time to clean up the space around us (or whenever we saw a piece of garbage on the ground) a big impact would be made.  I’m thinking my neighbors must feel good when they see my clean yard too.  I’m hoping it inspires them to save their trash for their trash can, and not my yard.  Because realistically, it’s my “neighbors” that are trashing it in the first place!

My goal for this blog is to bring awareness to the trash that is everywhere around us.  I felt pretty sad pulling shreds of plastic out of my grass when it really should’ve been weeds that I was pulling up.  I’m going to do my part to pick up garbage when I see it and I hope you will too!

Don’t wait for “Earth Day.”  Every day is earth day.

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