As a marketer, I’m witnessing something sinister as environmentalism hits the mainstream. It’s my job to provide concrete solutions to companies that want to “Go Green” by helping them make changes that actually lead to minimizing their impact on the air we breathe, the soil we depend on, and the water we drink. For instance, if a car dealership chooses to keep selling new cars rather than morphing their business to a sustainably managed “Survival Goods Store”, then by all means, they should at least make real green changes.
Want some ideas that are real? Put solar panels on your roof, pay for 5 years of carbon offsets for each new vehicle sold, and donate 3% of your profits to helping kids learn how to grow food at home with mom & dad. It’s simple, really. Then you can actually advertise that you are DOING something green.
But something wicked this way comes. It’s a wave of marketers that smell the green of money, not the green of chlorophyll. It is becoming more common for capitalists who once battled green causes like a cage fighter to want to hop on the environmental/eco/green/sustainability bandwagon now that Joe Public realizes more and more that planetary mortality is real. As people make more purchases based on LOHAS values, the suits across the country are demanding “Get me something green!” without actually caring about the action plan rather than a sales term for consumer feel-good measure and profits. This is Greenwashing 2.0, and it’s a sickness.
We are told the world has just 10 years to reverse surging carbon emissions or risk runaway climate change that could make many parts of the planet uninhabitable. I am in awe of people that care only about themselves, money, and the short term. At this point in time, when we know that as humans we shit in our own nest with every packaged good we buy – so are marketing departments even speaking with product development about completely greening existing goods?
Where are the companies that are rolling out their complete overhaul, from green products to transportation? I don’t want to see any more advertisements showing birds singing, smiling frogs, or any ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’-like nature harmony scenes to peddle your goods. Not unless you can back it up with thought through changes that show you are doing more than cashing in on consumer recognition of the planet’s destruction and the probable demise of humanity.
Shame on the predators in business that rape this real moment in time. I won’t help you dupe people, and take off that green mask so I can look you in the eye.