Green Washing

A few weeks ago I met my brother (who lives in Midland) at IKEA for a fun family outing. He thought it was hilarious that he was meeting his anti- consumer sister at a big box store. Well, I’m not anti consumer. I have to admit, I love to shop! But, I do think it’s important to know what I am buying and try to make smart choices. Money is power, in more ways than one.

It is getting harder to make smart choices now that it is so hip to be green. So much is just green washing. My brother-in-law ( I usually say my favorite brother in law, but then I realized I actually do have another bro-in law and I don’t want him to be offended) just showed me this chart and it made me very sad. So many organic and fair trade food companies are actually owned by big bad corporations. I knew Converse was bought by Nike and Burt;s Bee’s is now owned by Clorax, but this chart shows that green washing has gotten way out of control.

The day after I saw it, I bought some EARTH’S BEST diaper rash cream for Aurora. The stuff I really like is made by woman in Guelph and she has had some sort of family catastrophe and is not in production right now. So I bought the Earth’s Best even though I knew they were owned by Hienz and I really shouldn’t have. First of all, there was a little styrofoam piece on the top between the cream and the container lid:secondly it doesn’t work very well, and thirdly the lid spontaneously popped up after 3 or 4 uses and won’t close now. That’s Karma for me!
Now to take Green washing more literally, I bought a very expensive mop ($70 after taxes and “shipping”) from Green for Life . I haven’t used it yet and was a bit disappointed that it came wrapped in plastic. I got a sweater stone from the same company and it also came wrapped in plastic. Anyhow it was too big to ship so Cassandra personally delivered it, which was awesome. She’s also really nice. I’ll have to let you know how I like the mop once I actually have time to use it. It seems to me that there are so many things to worry about when trying to shop conscientiously that most people drop one or two- and for some reason the issue of waste and over packaging almost always gets dropped. Even David Suzuki admitted to using disposable cups and food containers sometimes because “there are bigger issues to deal with.” It was kind of funny since he just finished giving a speech about how everything is connected and our society’s problem is that we forget that. Hmmmm Mister Suzuki, I think I found your one fault. That’s OK- you’re still my hero, but I do wish you and the rest of the world cared a bit more about trash!

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3 Comments

Filed under cleaning, cleaning supplies, environmental news, shopping(not groceries), Uncategorized

3 responses to “Green Washing

  1. I know I am still your favourite. Because, hey, c’mon, I’m totally awesome.

  2. Ok, favorite brother in law, how do I post pictures now? Everything has changed and I’m confused!

  3. Brenda

    I just found your blog on zero trash today through treehuggers.com (of course). I really admire that you are working so hard at this especially with a baby so a big good-for-you. I am also trying to get down to zero waste and a lot of it has been learning to make things that I used to buy. One was laundry detergent, mine is made with castille soap (1 bar), borax and baking soda. It takes about 4 tablespoons for a load of clothes and seems to work fine. My significant other is alergic to a lot of the scents put into detergents so this was a way to get as close to nature as possible and still get my clothes clean. I am going to try your toothpaste recipe above. Keep on working on zero trash. You inspire me. (from Portland, OR)

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