This makes me sad. A friend who knows I like penguins sent me a fresh new link calling for more penguin sweaters. What are they doing with the excess? Do they just burn them every year?
It makes me wonder if it isn't just an awareness campaign for oil spills at this point.
Edit: Ok, I read the article. They just don't use them at all or sell them on stuffed penguins. Even better/sarcasm.
It seems, to me, a shame that more of the world's problems cannot be solved by knitting if this is the kind of entusiastic response it gets...
I had the pleasure of going to see the Phillip (note, Maggie, it's "Phillip" not "Phillips") Island penguins when I was travelling through Australia, years ago. We didn't get a chance to spend as much time there as I'd hoped, due to poor timing on our part, though we did at least get to see the "parade" in the evening. If I knew how to knit, I would knit the HELL out of some penguin sweaters, even if they only currently rehabilitate 20 penguins a year, I'm sure they'd come in handy at some point. Penguins in sweaters = hella adorable.
What it reminds me of is something the ladies at my mom's church got into. They started turning milk bags into mats with the intention of sending them to Haiti. Yes they're recycling something that would've been thrown into the garbage, but holy shit, the amount of labour that goes into making one of these mats.
Still better than the people who think pop can tabs are somehow special.
Well, this is interesting. When life hands you an excess of penguin sweaters…
UPDATE, March 2014: The Phillip Island penguin foundation have changed their tune, and put out a new call for more sweaters, with predictably huge amounts of media coverage. They strongly imply in their advertising that this will save oil-soaked penguins (although there’s been no oil spill since 2001). If you read the fine print, you find out the sweaters will actually be sold in the gift shop. I guess “knit sweaters for us to sell in our gift shop” is not the sort of thing that goes viral.
Maybe we just need to soak more penguins in oil.
The very first link in the OP is about the current call for more sweaters.
And the "fine print" isn't really so fine, though it does require that one read to the end of the section about knitted penguin jumpers (near the bottom of the page here):
The Penguin Foundation raises vital funds for little penguin research, conservation and the Wildlife Clinic through the sale of little penguin jumpers we receive that are the wrong size, shape, type of wool or in excess. We have a good stockpile of jumpers suitable for rehabilitation purposes which we also distribute to other wildlife rescue centres where need be. Little penguin jumpers are also used as an educational tool to teach students and others about the devastating effects marine and coastal pollution has on marine wildlife and the environment.
Yeah, but it repeated the implication that the penguins would be wearing them. The idea of selling them to raise extra cash is an innovative way to raise money for the foundation.
Ahh, ok, I thought you were referring to the renewed call as being interesting.
I know, right! Oh, wait:
Interestingly, that little tab is the only part of the can that is 100% aluminum, so in bulk they are worth something.
Those penguins are about the size and shape of bowling pins. Perhaps we should encase the world's bowling pins in sweaters because you know, they get cold too
I was thinking "Wine Bottle Cozies."
Unfortunately I don't think in terms of alcohol, but if I did, I would have had this excellent thought too.
The can, the lid, and the pull tab are made from different alloys, none of which is 100% aluminum and all of which are valuable in recycling.
You have to be careful when you run campaigns to collect ring pulls.
Milk bag mats aren't any more useful than pop tabs. Lots of work and effort goes into them and they are thrown out when they arrive at the destination. Unfortunately, it is just contributing to waste garbage in another place. The best course of action when there is a disaster and you want to offer assistance is to send money.
If people actually want the mats for something they could be useful, but for the amount of work that goes into the damn things, they'd be a lot better off just buying a bunch of this stuff.