READING THE NEWS

News Story 2: Greenpeace’s Latest Campaign to Save the Environment

Do you ever think about how many tissues you use during the winter months? Greenpeace, the environmental group, hopes you'll start. They recently launched a campaign called "Shop Smart, Save Forests."

The campaign asks people to give up their soft tissue paper and start using recycled tissue paper instead. "Recycled paper does the trick," says a Greenpeace representative. "The very soft tissue paper sold by the paper industry is overkill."

Meanwhile, the paper industry continues to encourage consumers to buy the luxury tissues and toilet paper. Their advertising campaigns highlight the softness of their products. An executive at the Kimberly-Clark company says many consumers want very soft tissue paper and recycled paper just can't deliver. For these consumers, the company offers the premium "Kleenex" brand, made of non-recycled paper. For its other, less expensive, brands, the company does use recycled paper.

Not good enough, insists Greenpeace. They explain that Kimberly-Clark and its competitors are using wood from Canada's forests, destroying old forests. "How many trees have to be destroyed so people can blow their noses?" asks a Greenpeace representative.

Activists from Greenpeace have spread the word by talking to people on the streets of some of America's major cities, including San Francisco, New York, and Washington. In blind tests, they ask consumers to compare the premium tissue paper with the recycled tissue and see if they can tell the difference. The result: most consumers can tell the difference, but they say the difference is small. And most say they'd be willing to switch to the recycled paper to help save the environment.

As part of their campaign, Greenpeace has also asked consumers to write to Kimberly-Clark and request that they start using recycled paper for their entire product line. Kimberly-Clark reports receiving tens of thousands of emails and letters. However, they have not given up on the non-recycled paper yet. Has this affected the bottom line? No, say executives from the company. Profits are up.

Vocabulary

(to) launch - to start
campaign - a series of activities designed to meet a goal
(to) do the trick - to work; to be effective
overkill - too much; more than what's needed
tissue paper - what tissues and toilet paper are made of
(to) highlight - to emphasize; to show
(to) deliver - to work; to be effective
premium - most expensive; high-end; fancy
activist - somebody calling for change
(to) spread the word - to tell many people about something
blind test - when people are offered a choice of two things and asked which one they prefer (the test is called "blind" because people do not know what the two things are). A classic "blind test" is the "Pepsi Challenge" in which people are asked whether they prefer Coke or Pepsi
(to) tell the difference - to know when two things are different; to identify a difference
(to) switch - to change; to exchange
product line - the full range of products offered by a company in a certain category
(to) give up on - to stop; to leave; to abandon
bottom line - profit

Quick Quiz:

Answer the questions below. When finished, click the "Check your answers" button to get your score. Have fun!


    1) What’s the goal of Greenpeace’s campaign?

      to get people to stop using tissue paper
      to get people to switch to recycled tissue paper
      to get people to use less tissue paper


    2) Why does Kimberly-Clark continue to use non-recycled tissue paper in      some of their products?

      Because they want to destroy forests.
      Because it makes much softer paper and that’s what many people      prefer.
      Because it’s cheaper to manufacture than recycled tissue paper.


    3) What did Greenpeace activists do on the streets of some of America’s      major cities?

      They gave people a test to see if they could tell the difference between      recycled and premium tissue paper.
      They gave out free recycled tissue paper and asked people to start      using it.
      They asked people to reduce their use of tissue paper to help save the      environment.


    4) Where does much of the paper come from used to make the premium tissue      paper?

      the woods of California
      the forests of China
      the forests of Canada


    5) How has Greenpeace’s campaign affected sales at Kimberly-Clark?

      A lot. The company is now in financial trouble.
      Not at all. Company profits have increased despite the campaign.
      Quite a bit. The company had to hire hundreds of people to answer all      those letters and emails.


    ANSWERS:
    1) to get people to switch to recycled tissue paper
    2) Because it makes much softer paper and that’s what many people prefer.
    3) They gave people a test to see if they could tell the difference between      recycled and premium tissue paper.
    4) the forests of Canada
    5) Not at all. Company profits have increased despite the campaign.

   
 
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