A Challenge?

Posted on October 16, 2007

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Joel Makower (editor of GreenBiz.com) wrote a story for CNNMoney.com, "The greening of P.R.: Read all about it" that examined how companies and their PR agencies recently discovered the benefits of "green" marketing.  His article is interesting and brings up the point that "green" PR efforts have quickly gone from non-existent to being overwhelmingly common.  In fact, Joel’s article also says, "Seven in ten (70%) Americans either "strongly" (12%) or "somewhat" agree (58%) that "when companies call a product ‘green’ (meaning better for the environment), it is usually just a marketing tactic."  The results are from this study.  That’s just sad, and I’d have to say that I’m probably one of the 12%.

PR issues asside, what does this all mean for GenXYZ?  I guess it depends on where you stand.  I would say that most of my generation is more keenly aware of our impact on the environment than generations past (thanks to Al Gore and his Nobel Prize – but that’s another story).  However, as we’ve all discovered, it’s hard to be green.  I recycle every week, and have even considered buying a mini-composter for my apartment (that was worth reconsidering).  I don’t own a car and walk most places, so I’d say my overall carbon footprint is lower than most.  (According to this impact calculator, that’s a fair assumption.)

But, if we can’t even trust marketers when they say their products are "green," then how can we be sure we’re not having a negative impact just by buying a new fill in the blank?  And… does this remind anyone else of the "made in america" or "certified organic" debates?  Are we just having the same argument over and over again?

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