Marketing, Motherhood, and Mayhem

“Green” can be “Gray”

December 1st, 2010 by Deb McLean

Everyone seems to be “Going Green” these days.  But what exactly does it mean when a company or product goes “green”?  Sometimes a lot, sometimes not so much. The term is one of those overused buzzwords in advertising today, right behind “Natural” in my opinion.

 The Philadelphia Eagles have even gotten into the act and have just announced their football stadium will be adding solar panels and wind turbines to its exterior, in an effort to generate about 30% of the energy The Linc uses while saving tens of millions of dollars. Other companies like Toy-maker Hasbro says it will stop using wire ties next year, while ensuring up to 75% of its packaging comes from recycled materials, as part of its “commitment to sustainability.”

 The term “green” screams environmental responsibility, but there can be a large gray area when it comes to “going green” however.  There’s this terminology now in marketing called greenwashing. Companies use the concept of being green and environmentally friendly to sell products when, in fact, upon closer inspection, they might not be all that environmentally friendly at all.

Greenwashing doesn’t have to involve flat out lies. They may just use one aspect that would be considered “green” like starting with an organic product as its base, but when the product is completed, it may involve tons of “non-green” processes.  We as consumers have to look deeper into the products we purchase.

The good news in all of this is that we as consumers are interested in preserving the environment.  There is a definite shift in the consumer movement and it’s growing rapidly.  More and more products are truly “green” than ever before.

This is not a trend, but our future.

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