Naked Bike Ride Promotes Clean Air

Lose weight, look great, and save the planet while you’re at it. This is, perhaps, the message communicated by the hundreds of people in over 70 cities worldwide who have participated in the World Naked Bike Ride each year since 2004. (For the record, this is the first I have heard of such an event. And most likely the first that any one of us here at Filters Fast has heard of it, because otherwise it would have already been on our blog.)

The WNBR invites people from all backgrounds and of any age, male or female, to join in a non-sexual, fun event that draws attention to the negative impact of harmful greenhouse gas emissions on our environment – often the result of motor vehicle transportation. (Hence, the bike ride theme…). The dress code is “as bare as you dare,” and the event encourages both body paint and bicycle decor as a means of creative self-expression. The WNBR is meant to raise awareness in an attention-grabbing, yet non-threatening way. Since the BP oil spill, many people are becoming more and more conscious of our dependence on oil and the environmental damage it may cause. Cutting down on our use of motor vehicles is just one way to lessen that dependence, and what better way to encourage that than to ride through public streets naked on a bicycle?

Want cleaner air? The World Naked Bike Ride just might be in a city near you.

Vote for the Worst Corporation of 2010

corporate accountability international

BP will no doubt “win” the worst corporation of 2010, and enter  Corporate Accountability International‘s Corporate Hall of Shame for its role in the worst environmental disaster this country has ever seen. Still, the organization wants you to cast your vote for the Worst Corporation of 2010.

Though I suspect BP will win by a landslide, it is important to let your voice be heard. After all, this poll is taking place on a site called “Democracy in Action.” If you find the business practices of any of these other seven corporations despicable, let it be known.

Personally, we take a lot of what Corporate Accountability International says to heart, especially since we share their vision: “Today the air we breathe, the water we drink and our very democracy are under increasing threat from corporate abuses.” In our industry, we’ve seen considerable criticism aimed at Nestlé Waters.

In March of this year, Food and Water Watch launched a “Keep Nestle Out of the Gorge” campaign in an effort to keep the bottled water giant from bottling water from the Columbia River Gorge. Greenpeace also campaigned extensively against Nestle earlier this year for the way in which they source palm oil and paper products. To be fair, Nestle countered with a zero-deforestation rather quickly.

We’re not trying to sway anyone’s votes here. In fact, I’d bet 90% or more of the votes will go to BP. But if you are genuinely fed up with any of the corporations above, let your voice be heard; send them to the Corporate Hall of Shame.

Bottled Oil Spill Water – The Perfect Souvenir

Just because the BP Oil Spill hasn’t made its way to your state doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the black water that’s sweeping across the gulf. Thanks to the good folks at OilSpillWater.com, you can now purchase a sealed, glass bottle of oil and water to serve as a souvenir and reminder of one of the nation’s worst environmental disasters.

If you can’t tell by now that the site (and our description of it) is rather tongue-in-cheek, you need only read the barely-visible print at the bottom of the site’s home page: “Oil Spill Water is a novelty gift that is included with your donation.”

Jeffrey and David Shiffman, according to a piece from NBC Miami, are selling these bottles for $9.99. Half of that will go to support Reef Relief, the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the International Bird Research Center. Where does the other five bucks go? To cover costs, apparently.

Personally, I think this is a great way to build awareness and raise funds for some organizations that seem to be doing good things in the gulf. I’m a little curious why it takes five dollars to mix an ounce of oil with an ounce of water.

More serious collectors looking for a genuine sample of water from the gulf should look elsewhere, as these bottles contain used motor oil mixed with real ocean water. The two brothers were initially shipping oil taken from the gulf, but that got expensive. By simulating their own bottled oil spill water, they are cutting costs in hopes of passing more of the donations on to the three organizations.

We don’t think the fact that the oil spill water is fake will deter many people from buying it. After all, people continue to buy bottled water from exotic springs and streams, even when 40% of bottled water is nothing more than well-marketed tap water. At least this bottled water is drawing attention to an environmental problem, rather than creating one.