08 April 2008

Seeing Green

Anytime I turn on the TV these days, it seems every other commercial is another company touting how "green" (environmentally friendly) they are. I'm all about taking steps to becoming more green, and think this is an important movement (The Daily Green has this to say on 5 easy steps you can take to become more green). So, here's a mash up of comments on various commericals I've been seeing lately about green products.

I like that the green initiative is gaining awareness, yet at the same time, it seem a little wrong to have companies make green product claims just to change consumers' images of their product(s). Right now Wal-Mart is airing several commercials about how by buying certain products you can become more environmentally friendly. I think the ultimate messages are good ones, like stop buying individual bottled waters and instead just refill containers or that one should buy concentrated laundry detergent to save on packaging waste, but in the long run it's really just about increasing sales (the blog Wake-up Wal-Mart has this to say about the CEO's ultimate motives). Sears is also advertising extensively the peddle energy efficient appliances.

Home and Garden Television (HGTV) has yearly "dream home" giveaways and this year they've changed it to the Green Home Giveaway. Basically, these homes are designed to feature and entice us to buy certain sponsors' products, and that's really all the Green Home is doing too. I went to their website hoping to see what environmentally friendly products they were using and why they are good for the environment. However, this educational aspect requires some hunting to find on their site, but they do have this article addressing the various green aspects of the home, and a page full of videos about creating a green home.

I've been using plant-based, non-toxic Method cleaning products for a couple years now. But even Clorox (the company that advertises that I should put my children's toys into large buckets of bleach - don't get me started on this one) is getting into the act and has developed a line of green cleaning products, called Green Works, that "must come from renewable resources, be biodegradable and free of petrochemicals." What I don't see on the Green Works website is any mention of the packaging, if it is recyclable or made from recycled products. Having just scrubbed my toilet this morning with toxic smelling cleaner, I think buying either Method's or Green Works' new toilet bowl cleaner is definitely in order (while using my reusable shopping bags to carry them home of course). I can also stop having to buy rubber gloves to protect my skin.


Joseph Caputo said...

I thought this post was really on the mark and original. For a while it seemed that new or alternative green products were gaining steam but if familiar chains, bringing with them brand loyalty, join the movement, then how will that affect the smaller businesses that started it all? It will be interesting to see how places like Wal-Mart mass produce the green/local demand.

Amy said...

Thanks for your nice feedback Joseph, you got my point exactly.