Ben & Jerry's Buddies Up With Tesla to Save the Climate

Ben & Jerry’s has a new flavor out, Save Our Swirled. Nominally a raspberry ice cream with marshmallow and raspberry swirls, plus a dark-and white-fudge ice cream cones, it’s really a weaponized treat meant to shake the world out of its apathy (or earnest motivation to do something but confusion about exactly what) regarding climate change.

Ice cream is also a potent visual metaphor for global warming more generally. Melting ice cream, melting glaciers, melting Arctic. Get it?

[jump] Having retrofitted a Tesla sedan so that it fits three freezers, Ben and Jerry’s is barnstorming the West Coast to promote clean energy and a petition from the global nonprofit Avaaz, via its own creamy emulsions. The company has tailored special flavors to geographic regions’ environmental concerns in the past, including one for Norway that dealt with issues of clean water. But this one is looking towards the Paris Climate Summit in December, in the hope that delegates will hammer out a binding commitment to transition away from a carbon economy.

Save Our Swirled is already available in Ben & Jerry’s scoop shops, where the pints’ labels have the usual fair trade logo as well as an icon of a cow in a scarf and red sweater labeled “SOS,” holding up a sign that says, “If it’s melted, it’s ruined!” Having gone completely GMO-free earlier this year, the social-justice-minded, Burlington, Vt.-based company is looking to reduce its environmental footprint further.

According to Sean Greenwood, Ben and Jerry’s Director of Public Relations and “Grand Poobah” (as his business card says), the company chose Tesla not merely for its sustainable ethos, but because founder Jerry Greenfield is a “car guy.”

“He was expecting it would be quite performance-y,” Greenwood told SF Weekly. “It’s a cool rig people don’t get to see often.”

With respect to the other founder, Ben Cohen, Greenwood sees a similarity between him and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

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