Tales of a Greenpeace Activist: Be Noble – Stop Deforestation
by Guest Blogger
May 4, 2012
Guest post by Greenpeace Activist Network volunteer Jess Hutcheson.
My heart was definitely beating faster than normal, but I took a deep breath, stood tall and walked toward the store. We started attracting attention right away because of our tiger face paint. As we approached the entrance I held my Be Noble Stop Deforestation sign up high and started talking to some of the customers.
Have you heard Barnes and Noble is printing books on destroyed rainforest? Help us tell them to adopt a sustainable paper policy that does not involve killing endangered tigers.
We proceeded into the store, where employees were less than pleased to see us. While we waited for the manager, we continued to tell customers about how Barnes and Noble was sourcing their paper from a company cutting down rainforest in Indonesia, destroying the last remaining habitat of the Sumatran tiger.
The manager insisted that we leave, and did not seem very open to hearing what we had to say. I just explained that we were not attacking her or her store, but rather wanted to bring this problem to her attention. I told her I think everyone can agree buying paper from illegally cut rainforests is unacceptable, and we were asking her to communicate with her manager that customers in this community are concerned and want Barnes and Nobel to stop doing business with Asia Pulp and Paper.
Then we headed to another Barnes and Noble location a few miles away, and as soon as we entered we were standing face to face with the store manager.
I explained that the forest being destroyed by APP was the home to the last 400 Sumatran tigers, and that the other two species of tiger in Indonesia are already extinct, and I could see that she was hearing me. I explained what were asking for, which is that she talk to her manager and other higher-ups to tell them that deforestation is not ok, and that our community does not want to buy books printed on destroyed habitats and climate change. She told me that she would.
The next time we visited yet another Barnes and Nobel location. This time we brought along re-written lyrics to Eye of the Tiger talking about Barnes and Nobel and deforestation. There were lots of shoppers, and we raised our signs and started belting out the words.
It did not take long before we were once again having a conversation with the store manager explaining why we were there. I told him about APP illegally logging protected trees and threatening endangered species. I explained it was this very deforestation releasing tons of carbon into the air that caused Indonesia be the third largest polluter of greenhouse gas emission in the world. I asked him to please tell his manager that local customers were asking them to stop buying paper that comes from pristine rainforest. Because I love trees one of the activists with me added. And I couldn’t help but smile when he responded I love trees too.