Green washing

The “Greener Living” headline on the cover of the local Metro newspaper today caught my attention. It turned out to be an add sponsored by a bottled water company!

The paper included a four page insert that features tips about Zero Waste, stories about things like Extended  Producer responsibility and the environment.  I was bemused and a little annoyed to read that “Metro has partnered with Dasani to “teach Canadians about  Choices” Really?

Clever marketing schemes like this disguise the truth, and while I appreciate the fact that some information in this ad is actually factual, the bigger story is the  Green Washing of this product.

Most people are aware of the environmental catastrophe that has resulted from the bottled water industry. Companies like Dasani (owned by Coca-Cola) want to green their image and help ease consumer concerns by creating plastic bottles made out of plant materials instead of the traditional petroleum plastics. The fact is that we are facing a food crisis, we are also dealing with a global garbage disaster, with a major source of the this garbage being disposable water bottles.(plastic or otherwise)

1 second — that’s 90,000 bottles per minute

From the reuseit site;

Fast Facts on Disposable Bottles

  • 2,480,000 tons of plastic bottles and jars were thrown away in one year (2008).
  • Tap water is cleaner, cheaper and healthier than store-bought water.
  • 60 billion single-use drink containers were purchased in 2006, and 3 out of 4 were thrown out directly after use.
  • Plastic bottles are among the most prevalent source of pollution found on our beaches.

Understandably  water bottle companies are now taking a new approach and turning to non petroleum based plastic for the bottles.  This does not stop consumers from throwing them away.

Bottled water has been proven to be less regulated then public drinking water, it is more expensive and  destructive to the environment, from the natural disruption in water flow at the source through the manufacturing and transporting of the water itself. It carries a large carbon footprint.

Single use items and products made to sooth our conscious, without long term thoughts about the impact these products have on our planet and sustainability are just a ploy to confuse matters.

Using Sugar cane Ethanol From Brazil is suppose to give us all a happy kumbaya feeling about this choice, but it leaves a bad taste behind.

When we choose to turn food into fuel, packaging, or anything other then nourishment, while millions of people around the world,(especially in places like Brazil) don’t have enough to eat each day it is not responsible. The production of sugar cane entails mono-cropping, the extensive use of pesticides, and perpetuates poverty.  We have to question the ethics here, and the reality of what choosing to support this product really means.

It is not just another choice. The reality of the matter is this;  if we  support products that harm the people and the planet we will all be forced to deal with the consequences.

 

 

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URBNgreen is committed to education and environmental stewardship. Our objective is share information about what people are doing locally and around the world to create a sustainable future.
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