The Allure Of The Lorax

There has been quite a buzz surrounding the release of the Dr. Seuss movie “The Lorax,” one of the biggest mass-consumer movies with a clear message of stopping the destruction of our forests and saving the environment. To help consumers identify resources to stay green even after they leave the theatre, Universal Pictures partnered with a list of “Lorax Approved” organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and popular eco-friendly brands like Seventh Generation. However, the choice of certain collaborators, like the non-hybrid Mazda vehicle, has led to many to accuse the studio of greenwashing. Other critics believe the film focuses too much on green living and is “brainwashing” children into becoming “eco warriors.” So who is right? Let’s take a look at how some of these partnerships rate on GoodGuide:

Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

Hewlett Packard (7.2): With above average scores, HP has been very transparent about their environmental and social practices. They recently launched a campaign encouraging consumers to “Print Like The Lorax” by making eco-conscious choices when printing.

Mazda (6): In conjunction with the release of the movie, Mazda is promoting their new “SKYACTIV” technology that improves fuel efficiency. Scoring comparably to other car companies, many of Mazda’s cars have average environmental scores but the vehicles still are not as high as hybrid or electric choices.

Seventh Generation (7.5): One of the highest scoring household and personal care companies on GoodGuide, Seventh Generation has a 9.4 for environmental management. They are encouraging consumers to purchase their “Lorax-Approved” products, which are highlighted by cartoon images on the packaging.

Stonyfield Farm (6.2): Despite scoring lower in areas such as resource use, Stonyfield Farm is still above average compared to most food companies.  They will also be promoting their “Lorax-Approved” products with large in-store displays.

Whole Foods (5.5): Although it has an average overall score, the company is not very transparent in its environmental and social practices. This is their first-ever partnership with a major film, which they will be promoting in-store and through social media.

It appears that no brands with the “Truffula Seal of Approval” received poor GoodGuide scores, but how many are actually trailblazers? Is Universal really concerned with promoting a green message and empowering consumers, or are they more interested in the earnings potential that comes from appearing to care about the environment? And can we really equate this fictional character to a trusted third party certifier?

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5 Responses to The Allure Of The Lorax

  1. Brooke Arthur says: what about IHOP? how do they score? campaign for a commercial free childhood challenges us to take action.

    complete list of
    Lorax Pledge Recipeints

    Universal Pictures
    Random House
    Seuss Enterprises
    Hilton Double Tree Hotel
    Whole Foods Market
    Seventh Generation
    Comcast Xfinity TV
    Pottery Barn Kids
    Stoneyfield YoKids Yogurt

    • Mia Gralla says:

      Hi Brooke- GoodGuide currently only rates products, as well as the brands and parent companies that produce them. Thanks for providing the additional information!

  2. Hey you guys — I’m rather surprised at this stance coming from you, I must say. Do you have any concrete reason for suggesting Universal is being inauthentic somehow in bringing the Lorox film to market? Have they said somewhere that they have made the film as an altruistic effort to save the world vs. because the saw the opportunity to put forward a positive message and make money at it at the same time. I feel it’s really critical for those of us (and I certainly include GoodGuide in this) who are trying to help shift a global society toward a sustainable economy not to keep second guessing each other’s attempts. All of us are figuring this out — certainly there may be some who are disingenuous and/or intentionally misleading out of interest in duping the public into buying something that isn’t what it represents, however I don’t feel we can call out or question anyone who tries to contribute in whatever way they can to the shift in society that i believe most of us want to see. Let’s expect the best, and applaud all efforts to use existing assets and talents in support of a brighter future. I hope all those who seek to do so find financial reward as a result!

    • Mia Gralla says:

      Koann- we think it is great that environmental sustainability is being brought to the mass market, and agree it is important to be supportive of big organizations that are helping to spread the green message. We aren’t trying to criticize, we just want to bring a voice of objectivity to make sure consumers are provided with as much information as possible. Thanks for the feedback!

  3. I would very much like to purchase a few Thneeds, and I’m confident that their production can be supported by any economy/ecology capable of supporting the producer, cast, and distribution network of THE LORAX. Trees, after all, are not the only things that humans care about. Please direct me to a Thneed manufacturer, and/or to a source of patterns for knitting or crocheting a Thneed of my very own.

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