Posts Tagged ‘business’

    Green machine

    Saturday, April 19th, 2008

    I’m going to be the world’s biggest jerk for saying this, but here it is:

    Enough with the “Go Green” movement.

    There, now I’ve become a target. You can go egg my car — just be sure to use only organic, cage-free eggs.

    Seriously though, taking care of Mother Earth is a notion that is now en vogue, a notion that Corporate America is now glorifying — much like it has done with hip-hop — and stripping it of truth.

    Take last night, for example: While watching television I saw three consecutive commercials for “green” products and/or retailers. These ads were featured during intervals of my favorite show, “What Not To Wear,” which aptly aired an episode dedicated to sustainable, earth-friendly styles.

    While such efforts are noble, my skepticism is emerging like a wart. Are we seeing an authentic concern for our environment or the newest marketing trend? Is it all for a green planet or greenbacks?

    Before dedicating resources to coin the term “Budget-friendly prices, earth-friendly products,” perhaps Wal-Mart should allocate those resources to improve its appalling record on labor standards. Except that doing so wouldn’t reap any profits the way a catchy “green” product label would.

    And maybe before hosting an episode on sustainable fashion, Clinton and Stacy of “What Not To Wear” should work to appear less snarky and more sincere when talking about recycled clothes.

    Shame, shame, shame.

    I read a story at work by Eric Adler of the Kansas City Star that expanded on this “Green Fatigue” I’m feeling. Apparently, I’m not the only one.

    Colleen Ryan found that sixty percent of people said they agreed with the statement, “I often wonder if a product is really ‘green’ or if the company is just saying that it is.” Ryan is a research analyst and consulting ecologist for Mintel, a firm that follows consumer trends. She wrote a report in February titled “Green Living” based on an Internet survey of 3,000 people.

    And most poignant of Adler’s story was this:

    Sometimes, when she’s standing in the market deciding whether to buy locally grown vegetables sprayed with pesticides or organic lettuce packed in a plastic tub and shipped 1,500 miles, (Lori Felder) wonders which decision is really better for the environment.

    The story made me ask: Is organic always cleaner?

    Such confusion is bound to arise when every company jumps on the bandwagon to “Go Green.” Separating the true from the less-than-true isn’t easy when we see all parties hugging a tree. Unless we are the tree, we can’t accurately judge the authenticity in the embrace.

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