A Pledge to Tom’s of Maine

A few days ago, an ad came on Hulu where Tom’s of Maine talked about their company’s philosophy. I’ve always loved this company, find their products to be top notch, and admired their philosophy. Though I’ve become increasingly irritated with companies lately making open promises about becoming green, caring about the environment and helping communities.

I have no reason to doubt Tom’s of Maine’s philosophy. As I said, I think they’re a superb company. But I slowly started to realize that this could become a great opportunity to direct their intentions for good to a badly needed issue: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The Garbage Patch, according to Wikipedia:
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also described as the Pacific Trash Vortex, is a gyre of marine litter in the central North Pacific Ocean located roughly between 135° to 155°W and 35° to 42°N. The patch extends over a very wide area, with estimates ranging from an area the size of the state of Texas to one larger than the continental United States; however, the exact size is unknown. This can be attributed to the fact that there is no specific standard for determining the boundary between the “normal” and “elevated” levels of pollutants and what constitutes being part of the patch. The size is determined by a higher-than normal degree of concentration of pelagic debris in the water. Recent data collected from Pacific albatross populations suggest there may be two distinct zones of concentrated debris in the Pacific.

Research and Clean-up Missions:
In April 2008, Richard Sundance Owen, a building contractor and scuba dive instructor, formed the Environmental Cleanup Coalition to address the issue of North Pacific pollution. ECC collaborates with other groups to identify methods to safely remove plastic and persistent organic pollutants from the oceans.

The JUNK raft project was a trans-Pacific sailing voyage from June to August 2008 made to highlight the plastic in the patch, organized by the Algalita Marine Research Foundation.

Project Kaisei is a project to study and clean up the garbage patch launched in March 2009. In August 2009 two project vessels, the New Horizon and the Kaisei, embarked on a voyage to research the patch and determine the feasibility of commercial scale collection and recycling.

The SEAPLEX expedition, a group of researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, spent 19 days on the ocean in August, 2009 researching the patch. Their primary goal was to describe the abundance and distribution of plastic in the gyre in the most rigorous study to date. Researchers were also looking at the impact of plastic on mesoplegaic fish, such as lanternfish. This group utilized a fully capable dedicated oceanographic research vessel, the 170 ft (52 m) long New Horizon.

Now, as we all know, great accomplishments require exceptional devotion and, nowadays, exceptional money. So here is my pledge to you, Tom’s of Maine:

If you devote yourselves to this goal, working with Mr. Owen, the ECC, Algalita Marine Research Foundation, Project Kaisei and the other environmental groups, providing them with money, manpower and resources to help rid our planet of this life-threatening issue forever, I pledge to wholly devote myself to buying your products for as many years as it takes to resolve the problem.

It is my hope that I can attract 100,000 other Facebook users to join my pledge to further persuade Tom’s of Maine, and help with the financing of this mission by also committing to buy your products.

So, who is with me? Click “Like” below to add your pledge to the Facebook page.

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