Wednesday, March 2, 2011

From Green to Transparency

One of the most powerful agents for change happens each time we buy a product - we vote with our dollars by supporting companies.  Over the past year I have noticed an explosion in the number of companies vying for customers by jumping on the "green" bandwagon.  The increased awareness and urgency of environmental issues has created public pressure on companies to make more environmentally conscious products. But are they?

Products in the grocery store, clothing manufacturers, many vehicles claiming to have best fuel economy in their class, even Coca cola is coming out with a 30% plant based plastic bottle.  My first inspiration for writing this post actually came from watching the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers TV advertisement that made it sound like they leave no environmental impact at the oil sands in northern Alberta, and yet it doesn't take much searching to find out that the water available to surrounding native populations is not drinkable due to heavy metals and toxic hydrochemicals.

Many companies may claim to be green, but if they were truly transparent we would see that unfortunately money is their prime motivation, not real environmental protection.  So, be skeptical!  If a product claim doesn't make sense, it is probably not as green as it sounds.  Even if what the label or TV commercial says is true, what is the company not telling you?  As consumers continue to choose true green products, and these companies become successful, this will raise the bar for those companies who still believe that they can't make a profit without cutting corners.

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