Stop Mattel destroying rainforests for toy packaging

Barbie, it's over. I don't date girls that are into deforestationHeard the news? Ken has dumped Barbie! He’s discovered that his long time lover is destroying Indonesia’s forests for those pretty pink boxes she likes to wrap herself in. You can’t blame Ken. As you can see in the , he’s just seen the results of the latest Greenpeace investigation which shows how Barbie is threatening the future of endangered species and the stability of our climate. The paper used in Barbie boxes – like palm oil which Greenpeace has campaigned about in the past – comes straight from the rainforests of Indonesia, home to rapidly vanishing creatures such as orang-utans, and Sumatran tigers (pictured below) and elephants.

Sumatran tiger (c) FotosearchOk, maybe it isn’t all Barbie’s fault. Mattel, the company behind the malevolent mannequin, is the one responsible and this new global investigation has uncovered the links between Mattel and our old friends, the notorious Asia Pulp and Paper (APP). Which is why activists dressed as Ken have scaled Mattel’s headquarters in Los Angeles, while back in the UK Greenpeace has helped spread the word about Ken’s announcement with a guerrilla advertising campaign launched in Piccadilly Circus and with adverts on bus stops and tube lines.

By analysing the fibres in Barbie packaging and digging into the commercial links between various companies, Greenpeace has been able to link the carbon-rich forests and peatlands of Indonesia with the packaging of Make A Fort toys on sale in shops around the world. The trail leads directly from Mattel to APP and its suppliers in a chain of destruction that spans the globe.

And it’s not just Mattel; catch up with how Greenpeace has exposed Hasbro, Disney and Lego for also using paper fibre from Indonesia’s rainforests here.

Winter Walk to Stockland

Natasha, Aleck, Chilli (our Gordon Setter) and I walked to Stockland and back yesterday. It took us two whole hours but it’s the first time we’ve walked that way and the four of us encounted many obstacles along the way! The fields were quite boggy but we weaved our way through them, and I taught the kids how to try and walk on the higher bits which were much dryer. The first stile fence crossing we had to tackle had a pipe placed just before it – with water gushing out which made the area all around the stile very boggy, something my 4 year old was not very comfortable with at all. I carried him over though and we all crossed the first hurdle in one piece!

Our second challenge was the little stream crossing (on the left) which had broken handrails so tight hold to Mummy’s hand over that one! If you thought that bridge looked bad, look at the one below which we came across in the next field…

This one was so bad, Mummy had to not reveal her worries at all in order to get the kids across. Perhaps we shouldn’t have risked it, but I went first with the dog (who was not happy on the rickety wood!) to check it out. I tied the dog up at the other end and went back for Tash & Aleck, to walk them over one at a time. The whole bridge was slanting one way and there were a few slats missing and some others which luckily our feet did not go though! The whole bridge was very slippy and mossy too with wobbly handrails that you couldn’t use. Next bridge pictured below (yes there are a lot of bridges aren’t there!!) took us over the River Yarty. It was a top notch bridge and we all stopped for a well earned breather!

Rosy red apples all round and a bit of a sit down on the steps of the bridge before getting back to the map reading. Tasha has just started map reading at school so a great opportunity to practice following the green dotted line across the Ordnance Survey map.

At four, my little boy Aleck just loved the challenge of finding the next yellow arrow as we went along. He also liked this curious dragon we found sleeping by the river – amazing what you stumble upon in the Blackdown Hills if you keep your eyes open !

We made it home in one piece and saw the first snowdrops of the year, out near our neighbours home. He was out enjoying the winter sunshine too and as he’s on the parish council, I took the opportunity to mention the 2 out of three bridge challenges we had, so hopefully something might get done about them, although I don’t imagine it will be the near future – will keep you posted!

A Pleasant Pheasant

A pheasant in my garden. Isn’t he beautiful.

You can read more about pheasants on the RSPB website – click here.

A large, long-tailed bird. Males have rich chestnut, golden-brown and black markings on body and tail, with a dark green head and red face wattling. Females are mottled with paler brown and black. They were introduced to the UK long ago and more recent introductions have brought in a variety of races and breeds for sport shooting.

Every year in Britain, more than 45 million pheasants and partridges are mass produced inside hatcheries and rearing sheds. From the sheds, they are moved to fattening pens before being released to serve as feathered targets for shooters.

The R.S.P.C.A policies on animal welfare state that “the RSPCA believes that ‘sport’ does not justify the causing of suffering to birds and other animals, and therefore the RPSCA is opposed to shooting for sport.”

If you, like me, are not into the idea of shooting these beautiful creatures for fun, then read a bit more about it on these sites:

The League Against Cruel Sports

Animal Aid


Hunt Saboteurs Association