On Sat., July 31 the Calgary chapter of the Forest Action Network held a protest against Home Depot, claiming they sell wood products harvested from rainforests.
Using banners, posters, two grizzly bear mascots and a "Stop the chop!" slogan, members of FAN, some of them U of C
students, protested at the Shawn-essy Home Depot location. It lasted 75 minutes, terminated by a police request to leave.
"We want to bring an urgency to the issue," said FAN Calgary co-founder and University of Calgary Eco Club member Cody Torgerson. "By protesting, we’ll increase the speed in which they will deal with the issue."
Home Depot is one of the major retailers of lumber in North America.
According to FAN, Home Depot is the world’s largest retailer of ancient rainforest products (western red cedar, Douglas Þr, mahogany and western hemlock).
Ancient rainforests include the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia, the Amazon of South America, the redwood forests of the PaciÞc Coast and rainforests in Southeast Asia.
"[Home Depot] has made promises in the past but has not kept them," said Torgerson. "In 1997, they said they would stop using rainforest products."
Home Depot Spokesperson Jerry Shields said they have addressed the issue and have worked diligently with the people who harvest the lumber.
"If there is anything we’re selling, it’s not [obtained] by cutting the trees, but picking them up from the forest þoor—fallen timber," said Shields.
Shields pointed out lumber yards and companies of the industry have the same lumber sources. Places such as Revy acquire their lumber in the same fashion as Home Depot.
Pamphlets, postcards and leaþets supporting FAN’s cause were handed out to Home Depot customers.
Response from Home Depot customers was mixed.
"It’s good that they’re showing some concern for the environment, but I’d like to know what kind of lifestyles these people live," said Jamie Luscombe, broaching hypocrisy issues.
Another passerby, Ty Bonnet, signed up for FAN’s calling list.
"I think it’s totally good that someone is trying to make a difference," said Bonnet.
Shields stated these kinds of protests have gone on across North America for the last several years.
"Our company is concerned with the same environmental issues as the protesters," he said.