GLENDALE — Kendra Owen was shopping at the Glendale Galleria on Wednesday when Alana Gregos, the assistant manager of the LUSH cosmetics store, briefed her on North America's dependence on fossil fuel.
Gregos was one of the more than half-dozen LUSH employees who wore T-shirts, posters and black plastic oil barrels to raise awareness of the Canadian tar sands, an oil operation in Alberta that opponents say wastes energy and produces toxic runoff to neighboring indigenous people and wildlife.
"People have to take a stand," Gregos said.
About 1 billion barrels of oil enter the U.S. from the tar sands, and LUSH's Glendale employees are part of a two-week North American campaign to pressure the Canadian and U.S. governments to move their investments away from the tar sands and into renewable and alternative energy sources, said Hanh Nguyen, a LUSH sales associate.
In malls across the country, LUSH employees wore nothing but a mock oil barrel to get their point across. Veronica Felix-Wills, manager of the Galleria LUSH retailer, said raising awareness was the bare minimum.