Orca Friendly Products at Ace!

Posted August 18, 2016 at 11:46 am by

Pacif­ic Whale Watch Asso­ci­a­tion and Ace Hard­ware stores in Ana­cortes and Fri­day Har­bor, WA Launch “Orca Friend­ly Products”

Orca Friendly Products label.

Orca Friend­ly Prod­ucts label.

Ace is the place for… sav­ing orcas!

In a unique part­ner­ship, Ace Hard­ware is part­ner­ing with the Pacif­ic Whale Watch Asso­ci­a­tion (PWWA) in help­ing its cus­tomers find “Orca Friend­ly” prod­ucts in its stores.

The pilot project will begin in Ace stores in Ana­cortes and Fri­day Har­bor – Orca Coun­try – and include in-store signs, shelf tags and labels iden­ti­fy­ing cer­tain prod­ucts as not harm­ful to marine wildlife, and “Pacif­ic Whale Watch Asso­ci­a­tion Approved.”

Captain Hobbes Buchanan - Contributed photo

Cap­tain Hobbes Buchanan — Con­tributed photo

The idea of Orca Friend­ly Prod­ucts label­ing sur­faced first with Capt. Hobbes Buchanan (below). own­er of San Juan Island Whale & Wildlife Tours and Black Fish Tours of Fri­day Harbor.

“It just seemed like a great way to help the whales. As whale watch oper­a­tors we work every day to reduce our foot­print on the water, and we all have to do that from shore,” explained Capt. Buchanan.

“Gand­hi used to say, ‘be the change you wish to see in the world,’ and peo­ple get it. We know there’s a big con­stituen­cy of con­sumers espe­cial­ly here in the Pacif­ic North­west who want more infor­ma­tion to inform their buy­ing behav­ior, to make sure what they’re putting on their lawn or using to clean up around their house isn’t harm­ing our endan­gered South­ern Res­i­dent orcas – or any crea­ture out there. Now, in these Ace sto­ries in Ana­cortes and Fri­day Har­bor, they can begin by look­ing for that Orca Friend­ly label.”

“Who doesn’t want to be Orca Friend­ly? We’re thrilled that Ace Hard­ware has stepped up like this to launch this pilot project with the Pacif­ic Whale Watch Asso­ci­a­tion,” explains Michael Har­ris, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of PWWA, rep­re­sent­ing 38 com­pa­nies oper­at­ing out of 21 ports in BC and Wash­ing­ton. “We believe this test run in these Ace stores in Ana­cortes and Fri­day Har­bor will ulti­mate­ly spread across North Amer­i­ca, and we think the world.”

One example of Orca-Friendly product signage - Contributed photo

One exam­ple of Orca-Friend­ly prod­uct sig­nage — Con­tributed photo

“The Dol­phin-Safe Tuna cam­paign also start­ed out as a great idea by our friends at Earth Island Insti­tute in Berke­ley, and that grew to what Time mag­a­zine list­ed as one of the top 100 envi­ron­men­tal cam­paigns in his­to­ry.” Har­ris con­tin­ues. “We feel this Orca Friend­ly Prod­ucts part­ner­ship with Ace could become as pro­lif­ic and impor­tant as Dol­phin-Safe — Orcas live in every ocean in the world, humans on every con­ti­nent. What we do on shore makes a huge dif­fer­ence in their lives.”

There are cur­rent­ly 83 indi­vid­u­als in the South­ern Res­i­dent Com­mu­ni­ty of killer whales, with an 84th mem­ber, the L‑Pod orca Tok­i­tae or “Loli­ta,” now at Mia­mi Seaquar­i­um. The South­ern Res­i­dents are list­ed as endan­gered under the U.S. Endan­gered Species Act (ESA) and Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA).

Ace Hard­ware is a pow­er­ful new part­ner in orca recov­ery. Found­ed in 1924, the com­pa­ny now has 4,700 stores around the globe inde­pen­dent­ly owned and oper­at­ed by local entre­pre­neurs. Ace prides itself as being “the help­ful place,” with a long record of giv­ing back to the com­mu­ni­ties it serves. Since 1991, it’s been a proud part­ner of Chil­dren’s Mir­a­cle Net­work (CMN) Hos­pi­tals and the Amer­i­can Red Cross. Through its stores, and col­lab­o­rat­ing with ven­dor part­ners and employ­ee giv­ing, Ace has raised over $72 mil­lion for CMN Hos­pi­tals and con­tin­ues to sup­port the Amer­i­can Red Cross through prod­uct dona­tion when a dis­as­ter strikes.

In Orca Coun­try, Ace’s com­mit­ment to com­mu­ni­ty now extends to the South­ern Res­i­dent Community.

“It just rein­forces the mes­sage that Ace and the whale watch com­mu­ni­ty want to send,” explains Randy Burgess, Own­er of Ace Hard­ware in Ana­cortes. “When it comes to recov­er­ing these orcas we have to do every­thing we can, includ­ing mak­ing sure the things we buy and use in our homes pro­tect their homes, too.”

“We’ve start­ed by putting these ‘Orca Friend­ly Prod­ucts’ signs and labels in our stores here in Ana­cortes and Fri­day Har­bor, and then see we’ll see if we can branch this idea out to oth­er Ace Hard­ware stores,” con­tin­ues Burgess. “We’ve always car­ried a wide range of green prod­ucts, but now our cus­tomers will see a ‘super­pod’ of Ace’s biodegrad­able lawn, gar­den and clean­ing prod­ucts, all approved by PWWA as non-tox­ic to marine life, all very easy to find. We’re very excit­ed about this partnership.”

HOW TO HELP: For all those who want to help the whales, become a Mem­ber of The Cen­ter for Whale Research! The Pacif­ic Whale Watch Asso­ci­a­tion is proud to be a long­time sup­port­er of Ken Bal­comb and his team. Help them help the whales. www.whaleresearch.com.

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