Tuesday, June 15

Greenwashing

Have you heard of it? It's a relatively new phenomena I've been reading about. It reminds me of Tom Sawyer painting the fence, only I think he was far more innocent.
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Greenwashing is when corporations deceive consumers with claims of environmental responsibility or "all- natural" wholesomeness that does not turn out to be the case.
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It's the cereal company that uses genetically modified corn in the all natural product. The organic shampoo company that uses .005% organics and the rest of the ingredients are chemicals. It's the environmentally savvy builder who decimates forests and prairies to build eco-friendly homes and golf courses. The kernels of truth are small indeed.
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It certainly got me thinking about my own business. I ride my bike to the post office, most of the time, but not in the winter. I use reclaimed sterling silver, but not always. My supplies come from all over the world on planes and boats and then trucks. I buy post consumer waste boxes for my jewelry, but they are newly made.
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Small steps are important. I would never call my business green, although every step I take in that direction fills the bucket with one more drop of (clean) water. Do you have a great idea I could incorporate?
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Kiss the ones you love,
xoSherry
Next Tuesday Part 2: our part in the microeconomy

10 comments:

Mary said...

many arts and crafts are far from green--i work with ceramics--not very green at all even though i do recycle clay....it is something to think about. i think that greenwashing doesn't apply to those of us who already know we're not all green but to those who pretend to be green but aren't....i've been thinking about this a lot and am actually changing my business line in accordance....it will take a while but i'm on track for within a year....good luck to you!

Rebecca said...

There's a friend of mine who said this: the loudest part of a company's advertising and marketing is always the weakest part of their product. And your blog post about Greenwashing certainly fits that principle!

I agree with Mary... so many companies pretend to be green, or act like they are interested in being green. But their biggest concern is, of course, profit margins. For those of us who spend our lives trying to make the smallest footprint we possibly can, we understand what those companies are all about.

I think as artists, we can't totally be green... we eventually ship our products across the states and across the world. But as long as we keep an awareness of what we actually can do to be green, and live accordingly, well... that's an important step on the right path.

stacy di said...

How frustrating! I've never heard the term before...and, silly me...believing that when a product says it's organic, that it actually is!

lisaroy said...

It's so true and how many 'green' products have you bought that are so excessively packaged in plastic? It just makes me shake my head. My craft isn't overly harmful for the environment but shipping internationally isn't great. If cars apparently add to global warming, what about the thousands of flights every day - wouldn't jet fuel be even worse? And to think of all the harm being done with the oil spill just makes me feel sick inside.

Stephanie said...

Green washing is an interesting phenomenom.

Like getting people to buy tons of pretty coloured nylon bags which they always forget at home.

But at the same time I'd rather have it be fashionable to be green then live in an era like the 80's where excess is the fashion statement

Catherine Ivins said...

Just one more thing we need to be educated about! For us to be really, truly green and sell on the internet would be very, very hard- even the bio-degradable bubble wrap I use has to be disposed of in just the right way for that to actually happen. I tested some in my backyard with mixed results. Not to mention the chemicals we expose ourselves to making this stuff. I know we can only do so much- but it is difficult choices we are making with all of it. Great post!

xo- Cat :)

Kathy said...

Sometimes it is hard to be green. I think about what I am doing, but many of my supplies are new and certainly aren't green and don't come from green companies.

I do what I can where I can, but I have a long way to go in my effort to making our world a better place.

When I buy materials, I try very hard to use it all up so I have very little waste and many of the things I made are made from things I find at garage sales and resale shops...keeping them out of landfills.

I've also been thinking of ways I can change my thinking and therefore my business and therefore my affect on our world.

elisa said...

I wish I had some great ideas for how your business can be more environmentally friendly but I am stumped. I think as long as we do what we can to be green - and not run around making false claims - it's better karma than not doing anything at all.

Jennifer said...

Good question! I try to do green things and incorporate recycled fibers, etc, but I wouldn't call myself green either. What about using packaging from recycled materials? I appreciate you looking for ways to be truly green :)

DancingMooney ♥ said...

I wrap all my soaps in book pages. Part of me feels guilty for doing so, but another part of me knows that I'm not using books that you couldn't otherwise find another copy of for pennies on ebay or amazon if you wanted.

I figure there is a need {for paper packaging} and a need for these piles of books that nobody wants anymore... I use them in my packaging so that I have less plastic waste both for myself and my customers, as well as making things recyclable and/or bio-degradable.

I'm guilty of plenty of the same things you are, but like you said, every little bit we *can* do, helps. ♥