Barbie’s Green Career

Image: Mattel

by Madison Pravecek and Miro Korenha

We reported in March about iconic toy brand LEGO’s commitment to using sustainable materials. And now, Barbie-maker Mattel and National Geographic have partnered together to create a line of dolls with nature-related careers. Barbie will now be featured as a wildlife conservationist, an astrophysicist, a polar marine biologist, a wildlife photojournalist, and an entomologist. A committee including National Geographic‘s editor-in-chief Susan Goldberg and several NatGeo Explorers advised the designers on what accessories to include with each doll in order to ensure the authenticity of the experience. 

High High Hopes: Susan Goldberg explained that “Through our partnership with Barbie, we are excited to reach kids in a new way, using the power of play to inspire our next generation of explorers, scientists and photographers.” Additionally, Lisa McKnight, the Senior Vice President of Barbie, also hopes this line of dolls will inspire young children to see themselves in STEM careers, “Barbie allows girls to try on new roles through storytelling by showing them they can be anything and, through our partnership with National Geographic, girls can now imagine themselves as an Astrophysicist, Polar Marine Biologist and more”. Additionally, Barbie announced that they will post related content on their popular YouTube channel to help children begin exploring.

Barbie’s History in STEM: Barbie has actually been at the forefront of showing women in diverse, STEM-related fields. The doll was redesigned in 1985, 1994, 1998, and 2016, with her spacesuit changing in each incarnation to become more and more realistic- in fact, in 2013 Mattel collaborated with NASA on a Mars Explorer doll.  More recently, Mattel has released both an Astronaut and Space Scientist, showing the diversity of women in space careers.

Why This Matters: Barbie is a 60-year-old doll brand that has grown to become an iconic childhood staple, and the company is actually seeing a recent surge in sales. Seeing the doll adapt to the changing world means that it will be representative of more children and hopefully inspire them to see themselves as scientists and conservationists saving our planet. You can find this new, environmentally-conscious Barbie on shelves this fall. 



Up Next

New E-Bike Policy In National Parks Causing Major Confusion

New E-Bike Policy In National Parks Causing Major Confusion

The Washington Post reported that the Trump Administration is having difficulty implementing a policy change it made back in August to allow e-bikes on federal lands — there is confusion regarding whether e-bikes should be allowed on non-motorized trails.

Why This Matters:  The Trump Administration argues that it is just following the lead of many states and wanted to allow e-bikes as a way to increase access to parks and recreational lands.  But there is a downside — if e-bikes are allowed in the backcountry, it will fundamentally change the experience of these wild and natural places.  And for now, the Administration has lifted the restrictions on e-bikes immediately without putting a new policy regarding their use in place, leaving everyone in limbo.


Continue Reading 463 words
Climate Extreme — Outdoor Air Conditioning Keeps Qatar Cool

Climate Extreme — Outdoor Air Conditioning Keeps Qatar Cool

Qatar is one of the hottest places on Earth and its temperature increases are accelerrating.  As a result, The Washington Post explains how Qatar does the unthinkable — air conditions its public outdoor spaces, fueling the “vicious cycle” of burning fossil fuels that lead to greater warming.

Why This Matters:  If the global average temperature rise exceeds 2 degrees Celsius, then Qatar’s average temperature will increase between 4 and 6 degrees, which would make work nearly impossible and the city could be uninhabitable.  Qatar may be able to cool certain areas for now, but it cannot cool the entire country indefinitely.

Continue Reading 440 words
Growth of Gas Guzzling SUVs Adding Massive Amount of CO2 Globally

Growth of Gas Guzzling SUVs Adding Massive Amount of CO2 Globally

Second only to electric power globally since 2010, sport utility vehicle (SUV) sales have spiked and they are now contributing hugely to the growth of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  In addition, global fuel economy worsened caused in part by the rising SUV demand even as efficiency improvements in smaller cars saved over 2 million barrels a day and electric cars displaced less than 100,000 barrels a day.

Why This Matters:  This is a big double whammy on efforts to curb CO2 emissions and decrease the demand for fossil fuels for cars.

Continue Reading 411 words