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'Greenwashing' just more of the same old BS - Metro US

‘Greenwashing’ just more of the same old BS

It ain’t easy being green.

Or maybe it’s too easy. According to one source, 95.6 per cent of all “green” consumer products make at least one dubious claim about their environmental purity.

Quick, point me to the aisle where they keep the other 4.4 per cent.

It’s called “greenwashing” and it’s out of control if you believe an environmental marketing firm called TerraChoice.

It’s even worse for baby products: 99.2 per cent. These people are picking on infants. If there’s a hell, there’s a green room just for these guys.

We’ve seen all this before. Remember, in no particular order: Non-fat; low cholesterol; Vitamin C; low carbs; and the granddaddy of them all, low tar and nicotine cigarettes. They’re good for you.

Part of this is wishful thinking on our part. Oh look, green detergent! The planet is safe!

Mostly, it’s opportunistic liars trying to pull a fast one. They’ll try anything: Fake labels that make it look as if the product has been given some green housekeeping seal of approval. Or proudly announce their product is CFC-free. Of course it is. CFCs are banned.

I could go on. The list is endless.

And if that’s not bad enough, there’s this blogger who’s making headlines across the country. Vivian Krause, who has been following the money, says Canadian environmental groups are mere branch plants of giant U.S. foundations who have decided to go to war against the Alberta oilsands.

We hear from Greenpeace and the Sierra Club, but we don’t hear that dozens of Canadian organizations have received millions from one source, San Francisco-based Tides U.S. And that’s only part of a multimillion-dollar effort targeted at the tarsands and pipeline projects by a few huge U.S. foundations.

One whopping grant, $27.6 million, went to “mobilize First Nations against climate change in B.C.” by hiring a co-ordinator to “engage with government, industry, environmental groups, media and the public regarding the proposed Enbridge Gateway tarsands pipeline.” Where do I apply?

Who are these guys and why are they bankrolling Canada’s environmental movement? Because it’s easier than cleaning up their own backyard? Only Krause seems to know.

My point is simple. Of course we want to save the planet for our children. But we need to trust those who would speak on behalf of our hopes and fears.

There’s nothing green about the same old BS.

Paul Sullivan is a Vancouver-based journalist and owner of Sullivan Media Consulting; vancouverletters@metronews.ca.

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