A Love Story Can Save Our Planet

Lonesome George, last of the Pinta Island Tortoises. (CC putneymark, 2007)

“100 critically endangered species at the brink of extinction”

“Only 3000 tigers left in wild”

“36 football fields deforested each minute”

Grim, isn’t it? The world we manage seems to get worse every day and all we can do is shake our heads in helplessness. We want to do something, anything, but all we feel is a pervasive sense of gloom and a slow-spreading paralysis. We are fast losing most of our natural wealth and we seem unable to reverse the situation. Why do we not jump up and save the world? If anything, these frightening messages of “irreparable loss” have the opposite effect on most of us. We end up pulling a warm, fuzzy blanket over our heads and try to bury ourselves in a little bit deeper. Continue reading

Advertisements

Goal!

Retail Activism. Now, there is a phrase that instantly makes you feel guilty. Should you embrace the movement and risk look like a lightweight? Or worse, should you dismiss your credit card as a world-saving tool and zero in on cheap, cheaper, cheapest? After all, the only activism you should be involved in during shopping is trying to prevent the stores from suckering poor, innocent customers. Right? Well, if you are like me, shopping is no fun at all. You buy things, you hate them the moment you come home and feel terrible about the whole episode. Which is why I look for things that alleviate my guilt, allow me to think my cash can make a difference. I admit, retail activism appeals to me. Continue reading

“Made In USA” Claims: A Quick And Dirty Guide

“Made in USA”, Lupor Metal Products, NY (CC Joe M., 2007)

Have you ever bought a product because it said “Made in USA”? I have, because I believe in buying local. Because I hoped that my money would go towards creating jobs and help businesses grow, creating local economies that are largely self-supporting. I looked at the label that boldly stated that it was manufactured in this country and I trusted the company. Ah, the innocence! Little did I know that claiming to be “Made in USA” is a territory marked with loopholes, misinformation, ambiguous labeling and outright lies. “All-American” goods like Converse sneakers and Levi’s jeans are made overseas. Good old American cars are from Mexico. Coors is equal part Canadian, Brazilian and South African as it is American. New Balance is in hot water with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the advertising watchdog, for making “American Made” claims, as was Craftsman. The list is long and saddening. Continue reading

Holding Marketers Responsible For The 7 “Sins” of Greenwashing

FIJI Water sued in California for "greenwashing" (CC 2010 M Sundstrom)

Something very interesting is happening in Californian courts. In a class action suit filed in a District Court in Santa Ana, a group of individuals claim that the bottled water maker, FIJI Water Company, has been misleading customers by making false carbon offset claims. Their cause for complaint is that FIJI Water’s assertion that it makes a “carbon negative” product is blatantly untrue. “Carbon negative” would mean that FIJI removes more carbon from the atmosphere than they generate, which is based more on clever accounting than reality. In another case, SC Johnson, the household chemicals giant, was sued for placing a non-verified eco-label on their cleaning fluid, Windex. The label, Greenlist, created a false impression of being third-party approved when it was only meant for internal use. What links the two cases is that companies are being held accountable for false “green” claims, “eco” exaggerations and deceptive advertisements , otherwise known as “greenwashing”. Continue reading