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We have Tivo, so I don’t sit and watch that many commercials. But this one happened to catch my eye. A new ad for a Kleenex hand towel. A product that supposedly will replace the standard hand towel people use. They tout their Kleenex towels as being the solution to combat germ spreading in the household. Who are they kidding? Do they have any idea the adverse impact all those extra disposable towels will have on the environment?
The Move Away From Disposables
For years now, we have been trying to make a move away from disposables. While some things, like diapers, are more difficult to make the transition to than say, using a cloth napkin instead of a paper towel, this move to use disposable towels in place of our usual cotton hand towels is definitely a backwards move.
When I saw this commercial I just couldn’t believe my eyes. Were they really telling us to use disposable towels in our bathroom? To illustrate their point, Kleenex shows dozens of people using a cotton towel (including the household dog), and it gets quickly dirty and dirtier as, on the opposite side, kids reach for clean, fresh Kleenex towels.
But see for yourself. Here’s the Kleenex disposable hand towel video:
Kleenex Disposable Hand Towel Video
Kleenex Disposable Hand Towel Video – Parody
And then there’s this video, created as a parody. Kleenex disposable hand towels do not help kids stay healthier. They do kill trees and are harmful to the environment.
Targeting the Germophobes
What Kleenex is doing is targeting “germ conscious” shoppers, in particular moms, who are concerned with their kids safety. They even say on their hand towel website that “regular washing of cloth hand towels does not ensure cleanliness.” Does that mean we should all wear disposable clothes?
The irony is, the more sheltered and germ free a kid is, the weaker their immune system will grow and thereby in the long run the more sick kids we’ll have. And the fact that Kleenex is using this aggressive marketing tactic to take advantage of mothers’ fears is downright despicable.
Marketing to Children
To top it off, they round out the whole commercial with a catchy jingle that will no doubt cater to all the kids out there. To us, this is the environmental equivalent of marketing tobacco to kids. By encouraging the next generation to use disposables, Kleenex is taking a huge step backwards, and in the process potentially pushing to undo years of work to move away from environmentally wasteful disposables.
Here’s the lyrics to the Kleenex hand towel jingle:
Kleenex Hand Towel Jingle – Lyrics
My hands are gonna be clean
When I wash and I dry with mommy and sing
This song that’s exactly two clean hands long
Warm water and soap and bubbles that shine
A Kleenex® Hand Towel that’s mine all mine
And a song that’s exactly two clean hands long
No yucky old towel’s gonna ruin my day
I dry my hands the Kleenex® towel way
So if you’re a fan of clean hands too
Roll up your sleeves and I’ll sing with you.
Take a Stand – Boycott Kleenex
It’s hard enough for consumers to fight for the environment, individual by individual, when we have large corporations with large marketing budgets making a push in the opposite direction, and undoing the work millions of us do on a daily basis to help our planet and its inhabitants. So, we at Earth’s Friends feel like it’s our responsibility to the planet to push back. You can join us, and help the environment, by committing to not buy Kleenex products until they pull their disposable towels from the shelves. Voting with your wallet is one of the most powerful things you can do to make a difference.