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Simple Green Really Isn’t Green!

My proposal to this issue would be to research an actual all-natural cleaning solution that contains no chemicals. This will probably never happen though because money is power and the companies that own these so-called “green” products have all the green! If someone came up with an all-natural cleaner one of the big businesses would just buy them so they would just disappear and the cleaner would disappear as well. Stuff like this happens all the time. I believe that the only way this could happen is to have a major uprising against the big businesses that are producing these “green” products or pass laws stating that in order to claim a green product they have to actually have all green ingredients in said product.

Steven House

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Green Cleaning

Many products have become increasingly labeled green when this is either not the whole truth or a flat out lie. Companies doing this to make consumers buy their product because they are fooled into thinking it is helping the environment is a way to describe greenwashing. Greenwashing is a more recent phenomenon where large companies distract consumers from the very negative effects of our industrial and disposible society by making consumers feel they are changing this by buying “green” products. One product that this has been apparent in is cleaning products. Cleaning products have increasingly been labeled green. This can be somewhat truthful or a lie. Unfortunately either way it doesn’t make it any better for the environment. This is the case because green materials aren’t as efficient at cleaning as tradition cleaning ingredients that are more harmful to the environment. However, sense they are less efficient that means that they require more packaging, more waste, more plastic which means more oil, more fuel, and more problems for the environment. This defeats all purpose of them being “green” and may even be less green than the generic counterpart. This example of greenwashing suggest we may need to changes things. It could suggest we change simple things like the restrictions to label your products as green is a small change but doesn’t change much. A larger change would be to eliminate small bottles of cleaner and find a new way to deliver cleaner to people who need it.

A way to greatly eliminate this greenwashing due to cleaning supplies would be to change the entire system of selling them. Instead of the current system where you can go to the store and but 100 different bottles of cleaning solution with a fifth or a quarter labeled green there would be one main supply system for a multi purpose cleaner. The government could start to implement a large tax on all individually bottled cleaners. While also contracting the largest supplier to create the greenest most effective multi-purpose cleaner. Then the government could then start to create infrastructure around the U.S. for this public mutli-purpose cleaner. It would eliminate the waste from all the bottle used and then thrown away and would make people have their own bottle or bucket that they would keep. This infrastructure could be delivered directly to everyone’s home like water or have public access point where people could pay near nothing comparatively to individually bottled. This would be a realistic effective way to eliminate a lot of trash, oil, fuel, and could show people that they do not need to be part of the giant societal fall of consumerism and waste with disposable goods. This would be a solution to help stop multi-purpose cleaners from greenwashing Americans and create a functional system to get the public a product they need.

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McToxic

McDonald’s have started airing new advertisements that put forth the idea that all items on their menu are “natural, local, and grown on small farms”. One ad in particular shows a man, Frank Martinez, a farmer for McDonald’s going about his normal chores on the farm. By the end of the video the ad shows him eating his raw grown potatoes and says something along the lines of ” these potatoes taste good now, but when they are at Mcdonald’s they will be even better”. When it comes down to it, there is no connection between local farms and Mcdonald’s whatsoever. The corporation uses meats that come from traders like Golden State Foods. On the menu, the forever popular Big Mac says it has a “100% Angus beef patty”, when in reality is a mixture of other meats, lactic acid, artificial flavoring, and beef broth. In fact in it was stated that cattle was being fed nearly 25 million pounds of antibiotics a year, roughly 8 times the amount given to humans to cure diseases, but in retrospect can cause many outbreaks in bacteria in animals resistant to some drugs. These antibiotics were used for making the cattle healthier and also faster growth. Not only are these ads deceiving but they are slowing greenwashing the consumers since they are showing their potential costumers that their food is actually natural and local. It also shows that they actually care what you are putting into your mouth when in reality they just want more money being spent on the non-natural and antibiotic filled Big Mac.
Though McDonald’s have some fattening but tasty meals that are relatively cheap in cost and fast to eat, they are slowly impacting the planet and our species. The ways of farming for major corporations needs to be fast and furious to get to stores quickly and efficiently. This would mean that pesticides,GMOs and antibiotics would be added to the cattle and crops that are produced to quicken the time. This being done alters the environment drastically, affect the consumers bodies in negative ways. A way to change this, is to possibly, though quite extreme but already executed in Chicago, is to create basically an urban farm close to some Mcdonald’s in the area so that they could be actually “local and natural”. Urban farms could be anything from growing some vegetables and owning a hen house on the roof of a store, or buying a small spot of land nearby and doing the same. Doing so would create healthier produce. As for beef, it is pretty hard to get a cow in an urban setting, but another way could have a written guarantee that the cows don’t consume GMOs or antibiotics to fatten up faster. Though some reports have written that Mcdonald’s has reduced the amount of antibiotics consumed in their cattle, who not just get rid of them all together to make that Big Mac as natural as it as the potential to be.

ad with Frank Martinez: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xxlEkstcwM#t=125
http://www.organicconsumers.org/Toxic/mcdonalds_antibiotics.cfm
http://blogs.sacurrent.com/streetview/mcdonalds-greenwashing-ad-campaign-for-the-new-year/
Written by : Kam Eflin

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Huggies – Pure & Natural

Green washing is basically any misleading promotion of an item to appear to be more environmental friendly than what it really is and Huggies’ brand “Pure &Natural” is a great example of it. The packaging itself suggests that it’s a green product with the leaves and grass in the background along with the claim of using organic materials; however the fine print and the lack of statistics/sources proves that it’s not so green after all. Also, the Huggies website indicates that only a small amount of the product is made of renewable materials and that cotton is only used for a small portion on the outer part rather than the inner side. Also, on their website in the FAQs environmental tab, they attempt to claim that diapers aren’t as much of a problem in landfills as statistics make them appear. It also says that biodegradable diapers do not benefit current landfills; therefore nothing should be changed. To an extent this makes sense but if many other diaper companies or other products were made more biodegradable, then landfills would need to change to accommodate the change; meaning that both could be held at fault for not changing to help become more eco-friendly.

So what can be done to fix this? Well, you could decide to get an actual green brand of disposable diapers rather than Huggies pseudo-green brand or even use reusable cloth ones. They could also make the product more green by using organic cotton for more than just the outside part and other biodegradable material. Not just Huggies but several other diaper brands should do this so that the products could break down in landfills more faster and easier. Diapers are already expensive and making them more green would make them even more pricey, so we would need an economic change, a social change, or even both. An economic transformation so that more people would be able to afford the expensive diapers or a social transformation in the U.S. so that more would switch to the classic cloth. Another thing to do is potty train infants around 6-10 months rather than 2-3 yrs old to reduce the amounts of diapers used. It probably sounds ridiculous or impossible to many of you but yes, it’s possible to potty train so early. This would be a good solution because not only would there be less diapers being disposed but you would also save a lot of money. Although it would also be difficult or take awhile before many people decided to potty train sooner because of different beliefs of when would be best to teach infants and most would not want to bother with cloths since diapers are more convenient and don’t need to be washed. Either way, we are going to need a lot of patience before we start seeing some results.

Written by Bianca Nunez