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Home  > Article

Green is the New President

By Daria Radota Rasmussen
Talent Zoo

Green marketing is about taking responsibility for environment and society by taking some responsible actions. It's a beautiful idea that should stop climate changes, however it appears that many corporations use the green thinking to earn money in the first place.

There is nothing wrong in earning money as such, if the money were the side effect not the center of the green wave.

The green snobs
Marketing people found out that consumers talk about ecology, social and environmental responsibility. Our need for ecology is rooted in our identity creation, not understanding for the problems Earth is facing. We hope to buy the clear conscience and avoid to be accused for destroying Earth by the future generations. That's why we express "sofa responsibility" and believe that "being green" is the answer for all evil. Excited green consumers become green generation with Al Gore, Leonardo Di Caprio and many other Hollywood stars as role models. Green has magnetic attraction powers as prestige and status symbol that uses very simple rhetoric -- if something is green it must be good. It opened door to greenwashing phenomena - more money or time are spent advertising being green rather than spending resources on environmentally sound practices. It is about selling products and services by appealing to our conscience and need to stand for something meaningful.

Green hypocrites
The green generation drives the craze by spending increasingly more money on so-called green products. Clothes made from corn, hybrid cars, etc. Leonardo di Caprio bought two Toyota Prius, made a movie about climate changes and challenges and flies with private jet that on one trip pollutes more than 4-wheel drive car in a year. Meanwhile other green materialists admire his engagement and sins at home: don't turn off the lights, buys paper bags every time they shop at grocery store, fill trolley with ecological food packed in plastic boxes, eat organic salad made of veggies that traveled thousands kilometers before they landed on their green plate.

Look at me I have green eyes. I am saving the world.
The most important are reciprocal advantages: companies get better image and reason to increase prices, while consumers are convinced that they do good work of saving the world by buying and consuming. Nice and easy. Without any effort. We do what we used to do -- consume and at the same time we become better people. Two in one. What could be better for consumers? We shouldn't be ashamed any longer because we consumer. We can't be accused of being materialistic and building our existence on consumptions. There is a meaning in our consumers and it has a green color.

We need green realism.
We bathe in green while the crime against humanity is committed by using biofuel. The latest news from the green catwalk. Arnold Schwarzenegger fills his Hummer with biofuel to justify his love to those CO2 monsters and prove he is pro ecology. Green fuel, it couldn't be better. Now we can drive a car without bad conscience. Unfortunately we overlook the big picture. Production of biofuel is based on oil that results in high CO2 emission. Nitrogen emission caused by fertilizing fields with chemical fertilizers. Increasing food prices and destroying forests. We want hybrid cars because they were advertising as green. While the industry chooses knowingly not to use the 2nd generation fuel produced from more efficient cellulose, because they need to get money back from the investments in biofuel production technology. Is it green marketing? Yes if green means money.

Green clutter
While you read this article, there will be used around one million plastic bags. They are very enduring and it takes a long time before they decompose. That's why we choose to go for paper bags. It costs just a couple of trees to produce them. The real problem is not that we buy plastic bags; the problem is that we use for about 15 minutes and then we throw them away instead of storing them in responsible way. We are bombed with the contradictory messages about green products. Should I buy organic juice in bottle or in carton box?

Green is the category everyone wants to be because it gives bonus points from consumers. Green category is synonym with better image and income. But the green message isn't always true. Consumers are helpless in the jungle of information, facts and lack of transparency. Some may fear of being cheated by buying something that has just green color.

Does green work
It is worth to remember that people aren't driven by facts. The missing trust and the insecurity make them passive or in the worst case negative towards green approach.

The green wave is fantastic but companies should improve their technique to surf this wave. They shouldn't spend their money on communicating green but doing green and prove they are responsible by being engaged and introducing innovative products and services that will actually have influence.

Changes come from the big ideas that are shifted into small initiative in ordinary peoples lives. It is about giving good reasons to consumers for becoming responsible for Earth, climate and society. The green wave should be turned into social movement, not fashion.

The last important thing to remember is that we can't make a difference without effort. There are no easy solutions when we talk about climate changes.


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