With almost every page of media carrying an article about a new ‘green’ environmentally friendly company or product range I can’t help feeling that most of the claims made are merely paying lip service to the whole ‘green’ trend. I have to question – are we all being led up the non organic garden path.
Unsubstantiated misleading claims fill the pages of our press and the business and political arena. Many I suspect are misguided, some even unscrupulous and made by companies out only to make a quick buck by taking good money for products and services that I fear are much less than green.
I would suggest that most people are by now positively confused and sceptical about many of these claims having been dazzled by green terminology and spurious science jargon.
Trying to sort out the truly environmental ethically minded genuine companies doing it for the right reasons isn’t easy – ‘green’ has become the new ‘black’ and companies have recognised they have to get on the bandwagon or get left behind.
I am constantly frustrated by the term ‘environmentally friendly’. Why? Because nothing is actually ‘friendly to the environment’. Whatever it is it had to come from somewhere, be manufactured, shipped or transported, packaged and will later be disposed of. It therefore has an environmental impact along with a carbon footprint.
Mass demand equals mass production which means environmental impact and damage on some scale – it is a fact that it is impossible to be totally green as green is open to many interpretations and every action has an impact.
Take for example plastics – nothing illustrates our throw away lifestyle better. We produce over 3 million tons a year using 8% of the world’s oil production. 1.5 million tons of plastic are used in the bottled water industry alone and with 13 billion bags given away a year by British retailers it’s not surprising that it’s a subject that’s been prominent in the press recently.
But is swapping from one plastic bag to another enough –didn’t we re-use all those other bags anyway? Have you checked that you are not unwittingly swapping one evil for another – substituting toxic chemical use with native species destruction; air pollution with water pollution; and energy use with human welfare violation?
Does anyone know what being ‘green’ really means? Is it all just a cynical marketing ploy – isn’t it time we asked if these companies are really concerned about global warming? How exactly is their product ‘friendly to the environment’ and can they actually substantiate their claims?