Are Buinesses Going Green for the Planet or for Profit?

4 02 2008

The current rush by the big businesses to tell us what they are doing to “Go Green” eloquently typifies all that can be wrong and bad about marketing. The whole “we are doing our bit for the environment” message seems to be little more than tokenism by big businesses that simply want to make their customers feel good about buying their products or shopping with them.

My local supermarket had a big display telling customers they were going to put 1 wind turbine in the car park. Why not 45 turbines? Surely that would show a little more commitment to the environment? Why not just ban the carrier bag, why not stop selling goods in plastic bottles and go back to milk and soft drinks in glass bottles with returnable deposits.

Why Why Why???

Because at the moment it would take too much effort and cost too much to make these changes. But at least there will be 1 wind turbine for everyone to look at and put their minds at rest about the damage we are causing the environment.

At this point in time we have the luxury of being able to live in a way that is totally resource dependent.

These resources will not last for ever and although people will adapt, I would suggest it will be far better to start making the necessary adjustments to our lifestyles now rather than go through a painful transition period. Of course we won’t do this because no one can tell us when for example; it will become too expensive to run a car, or when genuine environmental impacts will start to affect us.

So until then marketing will keep telling people not to worry because we are all doing our bit. It is just unfortunate that doing our collective bit simply will not be enough.

I can’t apologise for this gloomy post, but will happily retract it when I can see a world working together with a sense of urgency to create a truly sustainable way for everyone to live.

Somehow I don’t think this post will ever need to be retracted.

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