Welcome to 2007 - the year of marketing everything that is "green."
Are you as confused as I am when it comes to buying the right products. It seems that everyone under the global warming sun is "green" these days, but are they? Would we be in this ever hotter mess if we were all doing the right things, right now?
That's the problem - there are so many "right things" - what is green and what is being greenwashed just to get you to buy it? And what's the difference between being green and being sustainable?
For a quick explanation - Water is green. Water in a plastic bottle - isn't green. Water in plastic bottles where 100% of the plastic bottles are recycled is green, but not necessarily sustainable. Water in a refillable bottles is green and more easily sustainable depending on how the bottle is made, what it's made out of and how it can be recycled after it's useful life. It takes both products and consumer action to make things sustainable.
So what do can we do? First and last for the next five years focus on whatever is putting C02 in the air and change our ways. If we focus on that, everything else will fall in line... or at least buy us more time to take care of other things, like saving polar bears from extinction. That's no small job and it will take both sides of the buyer/seller equation to bring it around quickly. Consumers want to do the right thing and the more they voice that opinion, the faster large corporations who control 90% of the CO2 output will become sustainable and carbon neutral.
The BIGGEST CONTRIBUTOR of C02 might surprise you. It isn't cars - it's buildings. Yep, the making, building, heating, cooling, lighting, decorating of our homes and offices puts the majority of CO2 into our atmosphere and thus increases global warming. Transportation comes in second in the making, marketing and finally burning of fossil fuels to run them. The trick is to bring both in line to achieve a neutral carbon footprint ASAP.
Thanks to new sustainable standards that industry has agreed on, that is now possible.
Standards are the rules of the manufacturing game, leading into the making of a product and to the disposing of it. With standards, companies know what is expected of them and they can "compete" not only on marketing, but on manufacturing.
Sustainable Products has become a clearing house of these standards. This non-profit has spent the last 7 years getting standards in place for over 1000 industries. Not only did it create missing standards and amass the rest, but it is playing the role of hand holder between industry, Wall Street, Cities and consumers. It's going to take all of us working together to bring global warming down.
If you are a concerned consumer or a marketer hoping not to make a faux pas in the new "green" market, bookmark this page with the standards and the labels. It's a lot to take in, but I have faith that with knowledge comes power and that both companies and consumers will use their power in a unified way to reverse global warming. Luckily, the 100 companies that contribute to 90% of the problem are global and what they do affects the whole world. Let's help them do the "right things."