How Green is Your Valley?

Green People

Photo by Matt Redmond — Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved

Green is Good.

Fortunately, we are beginning to live by this twenty-first century maxim. Unfortunately, not everything is as simple as the choice is between a green valley and coal mining. What do you do when a product is labeled “Green” but you can’t help wondering how “green” the product really is?

As reported in Fast Company magazine, a recent review of 1,018 “green” products found that only one was legitimately and fully “green.” David Roberts’ article for Fast, uses the report to challenge companies’ approach to going Green. For example,

A green business will not deploy teams of researchers to figure out which 20%-post-recycled-content copy paper to use; it will offer free bus or subway vouchers, start a carpooling program, and let workers telecommute one day a week.

The review was conducted by TerraChoice Environmental Marketing, a company that is in the business of helping green companies and products.

TerraChoice provides a clear guide for revealing the “six sins of green-washing”:

  • Sin of Hidden Trade-Off
    - How was the product made, transported?
  • Sin of No Proof
    - How can you easily confirm their testing?
  • Sin of Vagueness
    - Do you know what “chemical free” really means for that product?
  • Sin of Irrelevance
    - Are any of the green claims directly relevant to the product?
  • Sin of Fibbing
    - Who is behind some third party certificates?
  • Sin of the Lesser of Two Evils
    - Quick, which is better: not smoking or organic cigarettes?

The arts are working to not only help be the messenger, but also to get the message.

If green is good, green competition is even better.

- Bill Reichblum

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One Response to “How Green is Your Valley?”

  1. cooler choice
    October 22nd, 2008 06:01

    scary to think that they are lying to us on certain issues this is not a good thing, nice post

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