Breaking the Koch Habit

The Koch family has a long history of funneling money to the most extreme right-wing organizations and think-tanks. Fred Koch was a founding member of the John Birch Society, and his sons Charles and David are sponsors of the Cato Institute, Americans For Prosperity, and the new crop of crazy Tea Party Republican politicians.

The Koch brothers get all of their money thru Koch Industries, the largest privately held company in the United States. They’re into coal mining, oil refining and pipelines, and they own Georgia Pacific and Invista. They’re also into climate change denial, dismantling of environmental regulations, and union busting.

We don’t want to give any money to the Koch brothers, but we recently discovered we were inadvertently giving them money when we spotted the GP logo on our toilet paper. Needless to say, we now buy a different brand of toilet paper.

After the jump, I’ll take you on a tour of the brands to avoid if you don’t want to give the Koch brothers any money either.

Georgia-Pacific logoGeorgia-Pacific is in the business of cutting down trees and turning them into thousands of forms of lumber and paper. They make toilet paper, paper towels, tissue paper, napkins, picnic supplies, office paper for copiers and printers, plywood and other building materials.

Many other activists have emphasized the consumer brands listed below, but their big money comes from large institutional purchases for things like universities, hospitals, and office buildings. If you see the GP logo on any paper supplies, please urge the managers of that building to buy different products. Changing a few of these bulk buyers will have a far greater impact than changing only our personal buying habits (which we must do, if only out of principal).

Dixie = Koch brothersDixie is a brand most associated with the paper cups and plates we use on picnics, but their big customers are the convenience stores where you buy your coffee in the morning or the food cart where you buy your lunch. The bulk of their product is used by the food service industry, so if your favorite vendor is serving their product in a Dixie-branded container, please encourage them to use something else.

Don’t buy any of these brands of Georgia-Pacific toilet paper:

GP consumer toilet paper brands: Angle Soft, Quilted Northern, Soft 'n' Gentle

Buying any of these brands of Georgia-Pacific paper towels or napkins gives money to the Koch brothers:

GP paper towel brands... Brawny, Sparkle, and Mardi Gras
GP napkin brands... Mardi Gras, Vanity Fair, and Zee

There are many other brands that they sell in Europe, so our international readers can avoid buying Georgia-Pacific products by referencing this list.

(Update 2011/11/11: By popular demand, we now have a 4×5-inch flyer that you can print and bring with you to the grocery store to know what NOT to buy.)

Invista logoInvista is essentially a chemical company that applies its chemistry to fiber, fabric and apparel. Among their most well known brands are Lycra, Dacron and Solarmax fabric as well as Stainmaster carpet.

Invista doesn’t produce the final product, just the fabric and other components that go into many products we use. For those of us who use outdoor gear, some of these brands are difficult to avoid, but we must try.

When shopping for clothing, outdoor supplies, or carpet, we must develop a revulsion to the list of brands below, and we must let the sales staff know why we are avoiding these materials: because we don’t want to give any money to the Koch brothers.

Invista brands

This is only a partial inventory of the products that fund the Koch brothers and their right-wing propaganda machine. Avoiding these products does more than ease our conscience… it’s an opportunity to start conversations about what we value and how our purchases should express our values.

9 thoughts on “Breaking the Koch Habit

  1. Pingback: Pulled from the Shelves! | purplearth blog

  2. It’s great to have a listing of their products, the only thing better would to put it into one list so we could print it out in a handy form to stick on the refrigerator!

  3. How many of their products are purchased by the federal government? We can petition congress to stop procurement of these products. That would take a little wind from their sails.

  4. Pingback: Breaking the Koch Habit | purplearth blog « Stillonline’s Weblog

  5. That PDF format list indicated above [Consider it done!] only shows the Georgia-Pacific paper products. You need to revise the list to add all the textile products made from Invista raw materials, too. That way, buyers can be on the alert when they go shopping for clothes and carpeting, too.

    You could even divide the page into sections, so that consumers could fold it up and put it in their wallet or purse.

  6. Living alone I had the paper plate bug that I have been telling myself to end for a few months. It’s bad for the environment and now it is bad for freedom. The Koch family has been extremist since the times they supported Hitler.

  7. would really like a list of all the alternative products to some of the ones that seem to be one-source, such as stainmaster and cool-max. they seem to have cornered the market on some products, and that makes me very sad. I love things with Lycra in them, but now knowing that they bought the company, how can you ever again buy a bathing suit, they all have lycra in them (at least the women’s non bikini suits do.)

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