Sticking up for the environment

Published 5:01 pm Tuesday, July 6, 2010

An Alabaster woman is looking to stick it to BP while raising money for those working to clean up the ongoing Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Penny Vines recently designed a bumper sticker she said signifies the environmental impact the oil spill is having on the Gulf’s wildlife and environment.

The sticker depicts a crayon sketch of a green fish, which is seemingly dead and exhaling brown bubbles. The fish’s head also contains a crossed-out BP logo which reads “bad people.”

Vines said she decided to launch the bumper sticker campaign after watching local and national news coverage of the spill.

“I was just so frustrated with what I was seeing on the news, and with how little was being done down there,” Vines said. “I wanted to help in some way, but I can’t leave my job in Birmingham. So I came up with this.”

Vines recently visited parts of the Florida Panhandle to sell the stickers for $1 each. During her visit, Vines said she saw firsthand the effects the spill is having on residents living along the coast.

“I talked with a lot of the locals down there, and there is a lot going on that BP is trying to cover up,” Vines said. “I am kind of passionate about saving the environment. I guess you could call me an environmentalist.”

Because Vines said she does not trust spill cleanup efforts sponsored by BP, she is trying to donate money raised through the campaign to organizations not tied to the oil company.

Over the past few weeks, she has been trying to gain sponsorship from the Oceana and The Nature Conservancy non-profit organizations, which are both working to clean the oil-battered Gulf.

“I am trying to find a non-profit organization that is not sponsored by BP,” Vines said. “Hopefully one or both of them will see what I am doing and want to sponsor me.”

While Vines has “not raised a whole lot” through the campaign so far, she said she will continue to sell the stickers and donate all proceeds to the cleanup effort.

“I’m not trying to get a salary for this,” she said. “I just want to help in any way I can.”

Anyone interested in purchasing a sticker or learning more about the campaign, e-mail Vines at