Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tewkesbury Roundup: Around the Blogosphere

Several friends, whose opinions I respect, have recently written about or posted videos regarding McCain-Palin and Obama-Biden. Three of the best I've seen in the last few days can be found at Gunfighter: A Modern Warrior's Life, Self-Portrait as..., and Debi Cates: Photo-a-Day.

Here is The Vet Who Didn't Vet, What Makes Democracy Work (October 23, 2008), and Even Mayberry Wants Change.

And don't stop at those video clips on their blogs. Check out Gunfighter's and Holly's writing about this election. It's thoughtful and provocative. Debi doesn't write much about the election, but if you want to see beautiful pictures from deep in the heart of Texas, spend some time on her blog. I promise, you won't regret it!

And speaking of friends I respect, Phoebe, a friend who lives in a crucial swing state other than the much-hyped Virginia, sent me this article from the New Yorker about how John McCain vetted (not) his vice presidential running mate. I read a similar article this weekend in the Washington Post. What makes the Post's article unique is, it's written again by conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, who wrote several weeks ago that Palin is "out of her league." From the New Yorker, The Insiders: How John McCain Came to Pick Sarah Palin. From the Post, Parker's Something About Sarah.

And speaking of Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin, obviously the the lovefest and honeymoon is long over and Caribou Barbie is going rogue and possibly becoming rabid. With only nine days (thank God) left until the election, McCain's folks are obviously and rightly worried. But hey, that's okay with me. Let 'er go rogue. It just boosts Obama's chances. Here's's coverage: Palin's 'going rogue,' McCain aide says. The Washington Post also covered this, but it's pretty much verbatim what CNN is reporting.

That's all I've got for today. Have a great Sunday. And to everyone running in the Marine Corps Marathon today, may the wind be at your backs!

P.S. I'm happy to report I found the capacity numbers for the top five tissue producers in the world. It's been a few years since I managed tissue issues for the American Forest & Paper Association, but I'm happy to say my gut suspicions about top producers were spot on. Kimberly-Clark is still the biggest! (And aren't you glad to know that? The next time you reach for a Kleenex(R), you're helping one of America's most financially stable consumer products companies stay in business. If you're looking for stock tips, buy K-C. They've paid out a dividend to their shareholders for 36th consecutive years. Just goes to show, you shouldn't blow off tissue!)


Anonymous said...

So, how does Kimberly-Clark rate from an environmental standpoint? And what are their other products besides Kleenex?

foundinidaho said...

Thanks for the tip! I love Kleenex. I love Starbucks but after I bought their stock it went in the tanker. People don't need their lattes. They do need their tissue.

Jane's question is a good one, would like to know the answer myself.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

JA and FII: About three years ago, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Greenpeace took a swipe at K-C for its fiber procurement policies. The quality of K-C's products relies heavily on virgin pulp and very little of their product is made with recycled content. For a long time, they sourced their fiber from any forest lands they liked without certifying them or without avoiding forests of high conservation value. When NRDC and GP took out an ad campaign against them, K-C initially ignored it. But when tag lines like "Wiping Away Ancient Forests" and "Flushing Away Old Growth" starting gaining momentum, they had to sit up and pay attention. (Victoria's Secret and Lands' End were also targeted for their catalog paper sourcing at around the same time so there was a groundswell going on that was too broad to be ignored.)

K-C has since cleaned up their act in that they now source most of their fiber from SFI or FSC certified forests. In terms of water effluent from mills, my guess is they are in compliance with all EPA regulations in the US and with any applicable regulations in Europe, Asia, Australia, and China where they also have mills.

That said, if you're looking for a recycled content tissue, towel, or toilet paper, K-C is not the place to look. And most often you won't find recycled content at your local grocery store or big box warehouse. Next time you go to Staples or Office Depot, look for Marcal. They're 100% recycled content. So is Seventh Generation and you can get their products at most Whole Foods and some Target locations.

Regarding other products K-C makes, they include: Huggies, Goodnights, Kotex, Lightdays, Depends, Poise, Kleenex, Scott, Cottonelle, and Viva. They also make wipers for both consumer and medical use.

To read K-C 2007 Sustainability Report, go here.

Here's a stat to chew on that will give you an idea about K-C's reach: every day, more than 1.3 billion people--or one quarter of the earth's population--use or come in contact with a K-C product. The company has capacity to make 3.5 million metric tons of tissue per year! Their next nearest competitor is Georgia-Pacific at 3.3 million mtons, followed by SCA Tissue of Sweden with 2.4 million mtons, and Procter & Gamble with 1.3 million mtons of capacity. More than 30 BILLION tons of tissue, towel, and wiper products are manufactured worldwide.