[Draft] I Rate Green

In recent years, it’s become something of a trend for consumers to buy the “greener” choice. These days, there are a whole lot of products labeled “biodegradable” and “environmentally-friendly”. Everyone from automobile companies to clothing companies to junk food companies (think Sun Chips) have jumped on board the metaphorical greenmobile (obviously, it’s an electric car. Or maybe a hydrogen-burning mobile?). After all, green is the black.

And not only is green trendy, it generates profits. Take a look at this video of Walmart Corporate Affairs EVP Leslie Dach talking about how going green was good for their bottom line because they were able to work with their manufacturers to save during the production stage and subsequently pass on some of those savings to Walmart customers. They’re not alone; many other companies, like Unilever, have discovered the same thing.(Strange though, how green products are, in many cases, more expensive than their non-green evil twins, but that’s an issue for another blog post.)

Going green may be good and well for the companies involved, but this now creates a bit of a dilemma for your average consumer: How are we to navigate through the mountains of supposedly “green” products to find the truly good?

In July of 2009, Walmart announced a green rating program initiative for the products it sells. The program was to be an extensive research and rating program, covering any and all products it has on its shelves. It is now 2012 and there has been no sign of this initiative. Why? Mainly because Walmart was a little too ambitious in creating this program. As CNN’s Paul Keegan explains, the problem lies within the fact that a product will still have an impact on the environment, no matter how little. Besides which, how do you rate how bad that impact is? Should carbon emissions be weighted more heavily than waste generated in production? Or is perhaps methane gas emission worse? Problems with the rating system aside, there is also the issue of the kind of bad publicity for the company that is unfortunately labelled as not green. Who would offer up their numbers on emissions if they knew they were going to be hit with an environmental scarlet letter? Certainly not Apple, which is why they quietly withdrew themselves from the EPEAT product registry.

While this green movement will likely have At the end of the day, there really is no way to say definitively which company is greener (or greenest) or which index is right in the way they rate products’ green-ness. Consumers will have to come to their own conclusions when buying green products.

3 indexes to check out if you’re interested:
Nat’l Geo green guide
Eco Index

(note: I know this post is kinda really bad, but the idea is there… and I know I really need help. Please be mean. I sometimes find that it’s the most constructive kind of criticism. Thanks!)

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4 Responses to [Draft] I Rate Green

  1. avatar Jordana says:

    Hey Shirley!
    I loved the humour you had in here. Embarrassingly, I laughed out loud while reading. People in Syd Smith now think I am psycho, thanks to you. Anyways, first little thing: “green is the black”, I think you meant green is the NEW black. I totally knew what you meant, and it couldn’t be more true. People today treat being an activist like a fashion trend, just like everyone wanted to be rappers in the 90’s, being environmentally friendly is the new craze. I like how you addressed the sometimes hidden concern that not all green products are equal, and not all are very “green”. The concluding paragraphs opening sentence kind of confused me; I don’t know exactly what you were trying to say 😛 I also love that you including the indexes, not only did it verify your points, but it is helpful to the average less-informed citizen! Great job exposing some issues that some companies would rather disappear!
    – Jord

  2. avatar Rebecca says:

    Really humorous writing, Shirley! Don’t be so down on yourself, you have a great start to what is going to be a wonderful final version:) The links were really helpful, reinforced the point you were trying to communicate. The example of Wal-Mart was definitely useful in that it put your ideas into a real-life context. Even some more examples would be nice, and again, reiterate your message and inspire the reader to research further! Nice work!

  3. avatar Daniel says:

    I enjoyed the humor – it makes for a fun and enjoyable read.
    Paragraph 2 line 2 needs some work
    End of paragraph 2 has a sentence entirely in brackets. It works as a sentence on its own.
    Good use of links throughout the post
    Fix this phrase: “there is also the issue of the kind of bad publicity”
    Is there another phrasing to use instead of “not green”?
    Paragraph 4 – While asking questions in a blog is good and makes readers think, you’ve created a bit of a flow problem. You ask some questions (good) have a statement (good) then ask another questions (flow broken/excessive).
    Give a short explanation of what EPEAT is so the reader isn’t forced to view the link (but keep the link).
    Last paragraph first line looks like it got cut off by mistake.
    In your opinion, if the rating system was implemented, would it be good or bad for the environment? Would corporations lie to make customers by products that aren’t really green (answer= yes this has already happened)? Are there any criteria that can be measured accurately through the system? Is there any good that will come from the system?

  4. avatar Shirley says:

    Thanks for the great comments, I really appreciate the help 🙂 and I know it needs a lot of work >_<

    Just wondering, but did anyone get the double meaning behind the title? 😛

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