Greenwashing make Hulk mad.

OK, this doesn’t have all that much to do with audio electronics, but I just have to take a moment to vent about greenwashing.  For those that haven’t heard this term yet, greenwashing is when a company uses bogus or flimsy ecological claims to advertise and promote their goods.


—A car company that has a hybrid model, where the ads are full of trees growing, flowers and grasses sprouting everywhere, innocent deer, and the syrup-voiced announcer assuring you that buying this car will save the planet for future generations.  News flash people, buying a car does absolutely no good for the earth!

—Detergent that comes in a bottle made of 10% recycled plastic, where the detergent company wants you to know how much they are doing for the planet and the children.

—Mayonnaise made from “only real ingredients” because they care about your health.

—Oil companies that advertise they are committed to sustainable energy sources such as wind, solar, nuclear… and oil of course.  Like they really give a crap about windpower.

—Garbage bags that are biodegradable, which is supposed to be so earth-friendly, except that when the bags break down they just disperse plastic particles all through the groundwater and food chain.

—A chicken company that brags their chickens are “all natural” because they don’t pump their birds full of water and salt… even though everything else about the chicken factory is horrible.

—And my favorite, where the announcer says “green isn’t just a color nowadays; green is everything from the foods we eat to the cars we buy… so we thought we’d help you save a little green, by taking 10% off our everyday low prices.”

You see and hear these sorts of advertisements every day.  Seems like every other ad on TV is crowing about some eco claim, saying they’re protecting the planet, and soothing you with pictures of trees and birds.  It pisses me off, because the large majority of their claims are badly exaggerated or outright empty.  For some people this will result in buying lots of consumer goods that don’t do diddly-squat for the environment.  For others this will annoy them into a reactionary attitude of “screw those hippies and their eco nonsense”.  Neither of those results is good for the planet, the environment, or the future.

There are legitimate eco products and businesses out there, but most of them don’t have the kind of advertising budget it takes to get on national TV or major radio shows.  So all we see all day are ads from companies that don’t really have anything good for the environment, but they DO have massive advertising budgets, and they are willing to lie to you through their smiles and computer-generated acres of trees and flowers.

I don’t really have anything constructive or original to suggest here.  I just hate the empty promises we get barraged with all the time, and it makes me especially mad when those empty promises play on people’s desire to “do the right thing”.  It turns us all into fakers, hypocrites, and reactionaries.  You want to do some real good?  Don’t buy so much stuff!

Share Button

Leave a Comment