Sunday, 4 May 2008

Greenwashing!

No that's not clothes which you've just put in the washing machine that are coloured green, it's a term being used to describe false environmentally friendly advertising. With the increase in green consumerism, companies have latched onto this idea and decided that if they market their products as green, they can sell to people wanting to be green, whilst unwittingly buying products that are either not green or produced ungreenly. That was a relatively confusing sentence, sorry.

I came across this guide to Greenwashing through smartplanet, a site I've mentioned before, which details ways in which you can help avoid being conned into buying non-green products. It's 44 pages, interspersed with full page graphics and the such, so comes down to about 26 pages of text with pretty graphs and the like, but the first few pages give a brief outline. I haven't yet read it all, but hope to soon, as it looks pretty useful and nicely laid out :D, go graphic design.

Whether or not you're bothered by being green or ethical or what-not, and whether you believe that the world is in a dire state or not, I'd encourage you to think a little about this topic. Aside from saving the planet you can also save money and become a crazy person like me, who can resist.

A recent add that perplexed me a little was for a lexus hybrid. It was a big hulking 4x4 which was claiming that it was all pretty and green and the top of it's class for low CO2 emissions, whilst still being a big hulking 4x4 that pumps out CO2 into the world. It struck me that something that big surely couldn't be overly environmentally friendly and that any car, hybrid or otherwise, still isn't great for the environment even if it is top in it's class. Personally I'm holding out for the whole hydrogen fuel cell thing, although no doubt in 50 years time we'll find out that it's mutating rabbits into killing machines, oh well life goes on and we destroy the planet some more.

4 comments:

TheTelf said...

I guess the point with the 4x4 ad is that it is the least polluting of the class its in (a class that overall is going to be pretty polluting). So the idea would be that if someone is set on buying a 4x4, they might be swayed by the environmental factors enough to at least buy a hybrid one (even if not swayed enough to actually buy a smaller car).

Andy J. Wotherspoon said...

the question then remains, why buy a 4x4? unless you live on a farm or somewhere of that sort, a 4x4 has no practical advantage, and then a hybrid probably wont be needed as it probably wont have the really low gears needed to crawl up a vertical slope (oxymoron I know).

TheTelf said...

Why do people buy anything they don't need to survive? Fashion, fun, the enjoyment of owning material possessions.

Plus the size of a 4x4 might give the impression of safety to a family with young children.

I'm not defending the decision environmentally, I'm saying that I can see why people might try to market a 'clean' 4x4.

Andy J. Wotherspoon said...

fairy liquid.