Bumcott! Wiping out the Koch Brothers

Boycott! I was reminded of the power of a boycott while seeing the stellar new documentary feature about Dolores Huerta, aptly called “Dolores.” (Boast alert: Dolores is also featured in my documentary “Beauty Bites Beast.”) Dolores and her United Farm Workers’ tactic to bring the big agri-business growers to the table was so inspiring and compelling that, even though I was a small child in a tiny South Dakota town, we also boycotted grapes and lettuce. And now it’s time for another boycott. This time of two boys who are, excuse the expression, poopy for democracy.

Bumcott! I propose that we “Bumcott” the Koch Brothers number one and two sales positions on Toilet Tissue, and create a crack in their crappy empire. (Prepare yourselves for more dumb scatological wordplay.) To those of us who object to the Koch’s using our tushy tissue to fund a well-orchestrated flushing of democracy, I say “hell, no! We may need to go but we ain’t using your paper!”

There are many internet sources on what exactly the stinky Koch Brothers and their associated companies produce; it’s ironic that they also create fertilizers along with TP. Oy vey. For a bowel-twisting assessment of how much they control and why they have amassed BILLIONS in profits, visit this page.

It’s said that the only things that are certain in life are death and taxes. I would add a third: wiping. Why would we knowingly participate in the Koch Brothers wiping out our civil rights if there are alternatives we can use? No, not Sears catalog pages, or Yellow Pages… and I now realize that people of a certain age don’t know what I’m talking about. Have you ever heard of outhouses? But I digress.

When I first heard that the Koch’s had a tight clench on the TP industry, I strained to figure out which brands WEREN’T Koch-y to… er, eliminate those brands when we shop. Taking up this quest proved to be a heavy load: as far as I can discern almost ALL of the paper products at Costco are Koch Krap, including the Kirkland brands. (Hey Costco — you have a rep as a progressive company, so listen up!)

The one viable mainstream alternative is Kimberly-Clark’s “Cottonelle” line; the company, which also used to lean heavily to the right, recently had a sea-change. In 2014 they became more gender diverse and in the 2016 election cycle donated more to the Dems and Hillary than other candidates. The problem with Cottonelle is that it’s needlessly expensive and often clogs pipes because it’s so thick. (Oh, that!) Another alternative is Scott Tissue, which I’m sorry to say is just the opposite: too thin and flimsy.

Our solution: we went to this website and bought a case of MarCal Small Steps Premium 2-Ply Embossed TP made from 100% recycled paper … and it’s fine! It ain’t Charmin, but it ain’t KOCH either, nor is it Russian. It’s a soft, lint-free and hypoallergenic product manufactured by a certified green American company because… come on! We’re talking about an item we use once and never see again.

The Koch Boycott idea isn’t new; it’s just more urgent now. The DailyKos has had a “Take the Pledge” anti-Koch page since 2014. If you’ve been… moved to join them, do so!

Speaking of use once and toss, there are also paper towels and paper napkins to consider. Again, it’s all Koch, Koch, Koch. MarCal has all sorts of paper products you can incorporate into your daily life, and there are more companies like them springing up every day. You just have to seek them out, which means you have to either go to specialty stores or websites. For now.

Another big environmental concern, which could also make a dent in the Koch Kingdom of harmful products? Plastics! If you’ve seen “The Graduate” and remember the oily and oil-based advice given to Dustin Hoffman’s character regarding a career path — “plastics” — it’s likely that guy was a Koch lackey. We now know that plastics, in the form of shards, shreds and even micro-and-nano fibers and beads are everywhere and in everything. It’s time for inventive solutions! For example, there’s now a Cassava-based bag that actually feeds sea life instead of murdering them! If enough of us demand that stores, fast food places, and restaurants use bio-bags, they’ll do it. If you’re a retailer, you can start using those bags or you can emulate what Hoopla! Emporium does. Our very own local brick and mortar gift store in Altadena, California uses recycled bags that are made from newspapers.

Another ubiquitous item — I’m not sure if the Koch’s have anything to do with these or not — are plastic straws, which end up in the stomachs of unsuspecting birds and fish. Straws don’t have to be plastic. My husband and I carry re-usable straws, and yes, there are still paper straws just like the good ol’ days.

My husband and I are so nerdy that, besides our straws, we carry recycled to-go containers in our car so we don’t have to use whatever a restaurant has on hand, like nasty Styrofoam. I have gone out to the car to fetch my containers and people see that and have often said, “Oh! What a great idea! We’ll start doing that, too!”

And then there’s the “hemp issue.” The newspaper mogul, William Randolph Hearst, owned vast acres of timber that fed his newspapers’ insatiable need for paper. He allegedly intentionally undermined hemp as an alternative source for paper by running racist stories about crazed people of color on “reefer.” Likewise, the Koch’s are the engines behind several unsustainable practices from the 19th and 20th centuries that are killing us and/or harming the environment; i.e., unfettered oil and timber exploitation. If American farmers could legally produce hemp, we could use grass for personal hygiene and hundreds of other applications. Tissue tycoons would find themselves down s@$t creek with sustainable paddles.

So, as a smooth move gesture involving a product we use daily, please help the Bumcott by sharing, liking and otherwise pushing it out into social media. We can do this! Do your duty, and make it your business to add bulk to our consumer movement.

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