Posted by: hepowers | July 6, 2011

That’s a Wrap!

Image by Danilo Rizzuti

The time has come to wrap up Socially Responsible Thoughts. There is only enough time for writing one blog and I have decided to create a new one called Living in Hamilton. You can find it here:

I’ve lived in Hamilton, Ontario for 5 years and it bothers me that out-of-towners assume it is all industrial – as viewed from the Burlington Skyway. There is so much more to it and this new blog will feature the diversity, beauty and history that is Hamilton, as seen through my own life here. If you want to get off that highway and see some of the details, come and visit!

For my last post in Socially Responsible Thoughts, here are some statistical highlights to summarize the last year and a half of blogging:

  • As of today there were 8,657 views
  • The Gap post was by far the most visited at 2,821 views. Judging by the search terms used to find that post, Gap customers are still concerned about the 2007 event where a sub-contractor of Gap was caught using child labour.
  • Second most visited was the home page itself with 1265 views
  • Third was Polar Bears & Coke & WWF with 1212 views, many of which were fed from an American site which referenced my blog within their rant about Coke’s green washing.
  • Rounding out the top ten viewed posts are Shopper’s Drug Mart, McCarthy’s School Uniforms, Body Shop, British Petroleum, B Corporation, Mabel’s Labels and Drinking Hamilton’s Tap Water.
  • In the all-time top 20 search terms, a variation of ‘gap child labour’ appears 11 times
  • The remaining 9 top search terms include Body Shop (3), Mabel’s Labels (2), McCarthy Uniforms (1), Shopper’s Drug Mart (1), Give a Goat for Christmas (1) and Sunny Acres Park (1)
  • And lastly, the top referrers to this blog site were (the American site which ranted about Coke), Facebook, Twitter and Linked In.

Although there will be no new posts for Socially Responsible Thoughts, I will still be around to answer comments. I thank you for visiting Socially Responsible Thoughts and I hope you found it useful!




Posted by: hepowers | April 2, 2011

Dawn Cuts Grease – Even BP Oil

Photo by Arvind Balaraman

Last June, I wrote a blog post about the public relations activity of British Petroleum. I included a photo of a bird grotesquely covered in oil on the coast of Louisiana. Here is a follow-up, about cleaning up some of those birds.

Two days ago, the Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet show featured a story called Preserving the Pelicans. It followed the rescue, cleaning and release of pelicans caught in last year’s British Petroleum spill in the Atlantic. The clean-up operation is managed by the International Bird Rescue Research Centre, who have been doing this since 1971. Years of experimenting with cleaning products saw the use of solvents so strong that volunteers needed to wear masks and birds were passing out.

Then Dawn dish soap was discovered to yes, cut grease, just like their ads say. Every five years, the Centre conducts tests to see if they might improve their cleaning products and Dawn continues to be the best thing.

The Daily Planet showed a cleaning centre for the BP spill where pelicans were in holding areas until they could be cleaned. These are very stressed birds, visibly shaking. There are many cleaning steps, from a general wash to detailed, feather-specific, painstakingly careful cleaning. Because the oil reduces their warmth, the birds’ bath water is kept at 104 degrees Fahrenheit, their usual body temperature.

It’s a long process which considers not just physical needs but the stress of the experience. Once ready to leave, they are flown far away from the spill and released back into suitable habitats.

Dawn is active in wildlife conservation donating both soap and money to projects. For more information about their programs, check out their website.



Posted by: hepowers | January 25, 2011

Great Elephant Poo Poo Paper Company

image from


Well, I’m starting the new year off on a different footing – I’ve never written about animal dung before. My advance apologies to anyone offended by this unusual topic!

Last week a colleague joined me on a road trip to check out promotional items from a company new to us.  There were some really interesting and different items – including journals of hand-made paper that could be printed with logos.  Turning over the journal to check out the source, I was surprised to see ‘Poo Poo Paper – made from 100% recycled and odorless products made from poo!’ Oh my!

The Great Elephant Poo Poo Paper Company has been selling their naturally sourced products since 2002. Their website admits to having a high price tag on earlier products but they spent years refining their processes in order to reduce the cost to consumers.

It might make you feel better to know that the first production step is rinsing the dung so only the fibrous materials (grasses, bamboo, fruits) are used for processing. You can check out the whole process here. And if elephants aren’t your thing, the company has expanded to include products made from cow, horse and panda dung.

The products look great and are very professionally designed and produced. If you have individual, corporate or fund-raising opportunities to use paper products with low environmental impact, you might want to check out their goods.



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