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Why participate in Pepsi greenwash?

I don't know about the rest of Instructables community, but I am extremely reluctant to contribute anything to Pepsi's latest (https://www.instructables.com/contest/pepsirefreshproject/greenwash campaign, well, anything except criticism.

PepsiCo (PEP) is a company that produces semi-addictive, food-like consumables that, in the aggregate, are actually harming people's health. They're also littering the world with PET plastic bottles.

Previous Instructables alliances with companies that make tools or building supplies (Black and Decker, Leatherman, Gorilla Glue), these alliances made sense to me since these companies actually make products to help people to build things.

PepsiCo is essentially a manufacturer of recreational over-the-counter drugs, similar to beer, liquor, cigarettes.  Thus alliances with entertainment industry (e.g. ball games, car racing, crappy pop musicians) would make sense to me, but not an alliance with Instructables.com, whom I like to think is doing something more noble than just crass, brain-numbing entertainment.

If you'd like to see PepsiCo's official explanation of this "Refresh the World" business, but without being tracked by DoubleClick, the direct link is:
http://www.refresheverything.com/how-it-works

Pepsi says they want to change the world, but I think they just want to sell more soft drinks.  I don't see them as a serious agent for change in the world. 

IMHO, the revolution will NOT go better with Pepsi!

Update:  Many of people responding to this topic seem to think that I'm lobbying for the prohibition of soft drinks, but this is not my goal. In truth I wish more recreational drugs would be allowed to have the same legal "white market" status that sweetened drinks and snack foods enjoy.

The point I was trying to make is that Pepsi is an inappropriate choice for an Instructables alliance because the basic values of the two companies are so different. Pepsi does not embody the DIY (do it yourself) philosophy. Rather the values of PepsiCo are convenience and instant gratification. This is essentially a SEDIFY philosophy (somebody else do it for you), the polar opposite of DIY.

The reason I mentioned harm to the heath of people and the planet, is just to demonstrate that Pepsi does have cause to want to improve, or greenwash, their image, which is I suspect the point of their "refresh project", not just pure philanthropy.


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canida7 years ago
Instructables is quite careful about who we partner with for advertising, and has turned down advertisers before.  This Pepsi campaign is an excellent example of a big company doing good things with their advertising dollars - in this case, funding some great ideas with the potential to benefit lots of people.

When companies choose to spend a portion of their ad budget to fund a good cause, we should encourage and support this behavior

I appreciate that you brought up this discussion in a constructive manner - we're happy to have an open dialog about the direction Instructables takes on social issues. 
Jayefuu7 years ago
What happened to this contest? It's gone...
Jack A Lopez (author)  Jayefuu7 years ago
I don't know.  Maybe there was a decision to disappear it, or de-emphasize it. 

Something similar happened a while back with the Answers forum. Answers is still around, but they stopped linking to it from the front page.

BTW, canida might know the answer to this question, as it (robot gender, but she IRL) was the one posting the forum topics selected/featured for this contest.  Many of these pages are still here, and contain a small banner linking to the Pepsi mother-contest. (e.g. "http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;221953120;45120998;c")

https://www.instructables.com/community/Water-saving-toilet-hack/
https://www.instructables.com/community/Dachshund-wheelchair/
https://www.instructables.com/community/Universal-Nut-Sheller/
https://www.instructables.com/community/The-Neighbors-Project/
https://www.instructables.com/community/Plastic-Soda-Bottle-Prosthesis/
https://www.instructables.com/community/Tim-Anderson/
https://www.instructables.com/community/Quilt-in-for-charity/
Jayefuu7 years ago
I agree with you. But people will still enter even if they agree with you.... money is involved.
Jack A Lopez (author)  Jayefuu7 years ago
Yeah, there's money involved between Pepsi and its grant winners, but what's the role of Instructables in all this?  I'm assuming there's also money involved there too.  Why have they painted the front page sky-blue and put a giant Pepsi banner on it?  I mean it kinda looks to me like Instructables is selling eyeballs to Pepsi, just like any other print, or TV broadcaster.

Or maybe we're going to see some lobbying efforts on behalf of Instructables to encourage its members to vote for the staff's own favorites in Pepsi's contests, sort of a mad scramble to get some of those grants, or the prestige associated with the story of getting them.

In any case, I still think the whole thing reeks.
Blue front page: Ugly isn't it! Doesn't even match the pepsi banner.

Perhaps we'll get some of the communication from Eric that Rachel promised.
And for the fine print readers...I think this contest is only for US.  They're trying to save the world, only the US part.
Yes, yet another case where the rest of the world doesn't exist.

"The Grant Program is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, 13 years of age or older, residing in one of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia at the time of submitting an Application"
I wouldn't go so far as to call the soda PepsiCo produces a "drug" in the commonly used sense of the term, but I agree they're not exactly a Green Role model.

But the light bills got to be paid. Dollah dollah bills, ya'll.
<Thank you, Paula, have another sip of Coke, now let's hear what Simon has to say...>
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