1- Green Misdirection: Ignore the real issue and divert attention to the “other things” that are better. For example, Fiji bottled water operates out of a LEED silver certified building, though they transport the water more than 5000 to the US, put it in plastic bottles, and ship it again throughout the country.
2- Green by Proxy: Do what Clorox did, since bleach is not a Green product. They bought out Greenworks and now they hail their Green contribution. Green by Proxy is buying someone else’s Green solution without really changing the way you operate.
3- The Green Dumb Down: Why not produce the very same product that has been diluted or slightly altered and slap a Green label on it? Dilution of harmful ingredients does not make a product Green.
4- Charitably Green: Tout the fact that a few pennies from every purchase (of an otherwise non-Green product) will be given to a Green charity.
5- Token Green: This process is defined as doing the minimum that can be done to make something Green. So, a hotel can put in CFL bulbs and declare that they are Green, although there is so much more than could and should be done.
6- Green by Discovery: No change is required with this method. The company discovers that there is already something Green about their product or service. There is no Green commitment except for the realization that they tripped over an idea already in existence.
7- Green Pretenders: There are more than a few products that blatantly misrepresent the products, poorly label, or confuse the buyers to produce sales even though the product is not Green by any reasonable standard.
8- Radically Green: Some Green products are sold just for the environmental wackos (sorry, but its true). The overhype is not on the product, but on the necessity to buy the product.
9- Mean Green: Hate runs two ways. Villianizing the opposition is kind of like the Mac vs PC commercials where the purpose is to denigrate the competition to make your product seem better.
10- Meaningless Green: Some Green claims are not relevant to the subject. So, does it matter that the package says, “No Heavy Metals,” “CFC-free,” or “No Bleach Added”? These ingredients are either already banded or may mask other ingredient still in the product.
By R. Michael Richmond
R. Michael Richmond, is the Director of Development for the Green Business League (http://www.greenbusinessleague.com/) and an avid proponent of Green and sustainable business programs.The Green Business League offers a national certification for Green business that has been broadly received as a leading standard for environmental compliance.