When Clorox Co. announced last month that it would set up a system to accept used Brita water filters for recycling, it was the culmination of an effort by a blogger who started putting pressure on the company in June 2007. This story in Canada's National Post tells the story of Beth Terry, author of the Fake Plastic Fish blog, who used the Web site to start a petition to urge the company to set up a program to recycle the filters.
When Terry -- who lives in Oakland, Calif., and keeps track of all the plastic she purchases and discards as part of her green blog -- realized she couldn't recycle her filter, she decided to email Brita and ask why. In return, she got a standard form letter explaining there was a lack of recycling infrastructure available in the U.S. "I sent another email after that," says Terry, "asking why Brita was able to build its own facility in Europe but not here, and then I didn't really get anything from them, so I just kind of blogged about it and ranted, then eventually let it go." Some time later, however, when she was checking her Google analytics to see what search terms had directed people to her site, Terry noticed the words "Brita" and "recycling" came up a lot. This prompted her to ask around and see if there was interest in starting a campaign, and so began the process of letters, petitions, websites and meetings with various environmental organizations.Her petition ended up with 16,000 signatures, and the attention of a company that was already trying to put a positive green marketing spin on its product. The story notes that Clorox's campaign "began with a single, frustrated woman not knowing how to get rid of her water filter and ended with massive structural change at a multinational corporation in just months." Pretty amazing. No wonder more companies and trade groups are starting to pay attention to the role that bloggers play in informing the public.