Monday, September 15, 2008

Side note to class discussion on difficulties of convincing society about "green" movement

As a side note to one of last week's class discussions about the difficulties on convincing society about the "green" movement. I happened to come across an article in this week's TIME magazine about another facet of this issue. It is an interesting article that points out the many companies that are claiming "green"/"sustainable"/"energy-efficient" products and services are not really doing anything significant. The author, Bryan Walsh, terms this problem "greenwashing", where they mislead customers about the environmentally-friendly advantages through various marketing strategies. So there are websites such as and, which are posts by consumers about their research on various products, and which ones are actually producing benefits. According to the second website,, the "six sins" of greenwashing are "hidden trade-off", "no-proof", "vagueness", "irrelevance", "lesser of two evils", and "fibbing". One of the many examples is how a company can claim their paper towels are produced from "sustainably-harvested forests" but spends so much money and energy (CO2 emmissions) to ship and transport it. I just thought it was interesting how there are various factors involved in encouraging sustainability to the general society.

1 comment:

Joseph Rosenberg said...

Another thing to note is sometimes companies that claim they are environmentally friendly by making one "green" product, but then they also continue making their other products that are not necessarily environmentally considerate. Sorry I can think of a specific one right now, but it is like they appealing to all types of customers, green conscious and non green conscious. I see it just as a marketing scheme trying to get more revenue.