Photo courtesy of Mia and Sara Hansen.

As far as I’m concerned, if they ever market a one-size-fits-all People Chow like they do for pets, it should basically be smoothies. But it’s asinine that smoothie company Jamba Juice, which bills its product as healthy and natural, serves your People Chow in an Earth-unfriendly giant styrofoam cup. Ten-year-old Mia Hansen thought so too, so she started a petition to get the chain to stop using styrofoam — and it worked. Mia collected over 130,000 signatures, and Jamba Juice agreed to phase out styrofoam by 2013.

Usually, stories of the “10-year-old girl vs. multinational corporation” format are heartwarming, but only because everyone learns a valuable lesson about the importance of trying and cooperating and sticking to your beliefs even when you can’t win. But Mia’s petition got a response from Jamba Juice within three weeks. They called her on the phone, and sent her a letter promising that they would get rid of styrofoam in their stores and switch to an “environmental alternative” by the end of next year. That’s an unusually quick and decisive reaction, even for adult activists with a ton of resources. For a fifth grader with an online petition, it’s extraordinary.

Jamba Juice deserves credit for being so responsive, credit that I’m happy to give them in the form of $4.25 for a strawberry/banana/soy milk smoothie. And Mia, of course, deserves a round of applause. Does anyone know where to get one of those giant “#1” hands that’s made out of something Earth-friendly like corn husks or mud?

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