It is cold these days here in Bellingham, Washington, where I live and work. But there were many different brands of jackets available. So why did I buy a new jacket from Columbia Sportswear?
I wanted to show my appreciation for Columbia Sportswear’s action that is helping us find a solution to the problem of Canada’s tar sands.
If we don’t act to solve the tar sands problem, we will face a spiraling human health and environmental disaster. From tar sands refineries that threaten heart and lung health in US communities, to tar sands mining in Canada that rips up Boreal forest, to global warming pollution that is three to five times greater than conventional oil, it’s hard to imagine a solution to the tar sands problem.
And that’s where Columbia Sportswear’s action can help. The company’s connection to the problem lies in the transportation fuel from tar sands refineries that it uses to move products from port, or manufacturer, or distribution center to consumers. So, as part of its process for selecting transportation providers, Columbia Sportswear has asked providers to disclose their efforts to avoid high-impact fuels, such as those from Canada’s tar sands.
Columbia Sportswear’s action is part of growing trend among some very influential opinion leaders and economic actors—a trend that now includes 19 major brands. That trend says loud and clear that we don’t need tar sands pipelines or refineries for a product its biggest customers—US transportation fuel users like Columbia Sportswear—don’t want.
And if you needed a jacket, and wanted to pick Columbia Sportswear as part of your thanks, I wouldn’t blame you. I’m very happy with mine!