Hero & Zero: Orangutan rescuers & eco-unfriendly packaging

By Nikki Silverstein

Hero: Climbing trees is child’s play, unless you’re a certified arborist using your unique skills to rescue tree-dwelling animals in Marin and around the globe. Fairfax-based arborists James Reed of the Tree Monkey Project and Jim Cairnes of the World Tree Service departed this week to help save orangutans in the jungles of Borneo. For two months, the men will work with animal nonprofit groups and teach their staff to climb trees safely, enabling the groups to rescue orangutans, which are endangered due to the loss of habitat from illegal logging and mining. Sadly, these highly intelligent primates are also being traded illegally as pets and for the exotic food markets of East Asia. James and Jim, we’re awestruck by your efforts to ensure their survival.

Zero: For those who missed the brouhaha about Whole Foods selling peeled Sumo oranges in plastic containers, let’s review. A woman posted a photo of the product on Twitter, accompanied by the clever tweet, “If only nature would find a way to cover these oranges so we didn’t need to waste so much plastic on them.” It went viral. Thousands of people shamed Whole Foods for the eco-unfriendly container and declared that consumers buying the stripped citrus are lazy. In less than three hours, Whole Foods capitulated, pulled the peeled oranges and tweeted that they would no longer sell them. Bad news for folks with arthritis and other disabilities. It’s the packaging, Stupid. Keep the peeled oranges and figure out a better way to wrap them.

Got a Hero or a Zero? Please send submissions to [email protected]

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