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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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Back to MAC

By Jennifer Nguyen

Now that recycling is a new trend and people are concerned about helping the environment, companies are taking advantage of this to make more money. By advertising that companies are environmental friendly, they are green washing customers into thinking they are doing the environment a favor. They are brain washing customers to make them feel that the service or certain items are eco-friendly. The companies want to show their customers how concerned they truly are about the environment’s condition and they are working on a way to improve the world we live in. An example I found of green washing is Back to MAC program where MAC cosmetic customers turn in six empty MAC containers into the store or online and they will receive a MAC lipstick. The company convinced their customers that they want to help the environment by starting this so called program to recycle the containers, instead of throwing it out in the dumpster. This way MAC continues to gain more business with the motive of receiving a MAC lipstick in return of being a good green citizen. It makes people think of how much makeup people consume and make us change how we discard the containers after we use them. It gives us an impression that we are helping the environment and getting something out of it in return. This helps boosts up MAC cosmetic consumption by making more make up for customers. What the customer wants and needs go unchanged. MAC cosmetic said they have the same views has their customers in helping the environment. But, something they left out is what they do with the containers when they receive them and my guess is that they go to the same place if we had thrown them out ourselves.

I believe there is a better solution for a less green washed idea to lessen empty makeup containers in the landfills every year. What I had in mind is reusing the empty blush or foundation containers to put small earrings in or any small objects people don’t want to lose. I do this myself and it is very helpful in organizing everything. Another way people can also recycle is to be crafty and create your own lip balm or makeup and reuse the containers. Lipstick containers can store bobby pins, Q-tips or toothpicks to make it easier to again, organize your things when you traveling or can put it in your bag. By doing all the above, people can benefit the environment but dumping less makeup containers in landfills. It will not take much time out of the day and is easy process that everybody can go through. Customers need to give up their free items that make up companies lure customers into, but in the end nothing is really free. I bet many people are saying it will not help our carbon foot print and it is just a toe of the print, I think they are wrong. If we spread these ideas to each individual I think it will definitely help out a chunk out of our landfills.

http://www.maccosmetics.com/giving_back/btm_return_packaging.tmpl

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Dawn Dish Soap

As for a solution to this problem its a little difficult because I don’t know much about oil or the chemicals used in this dish soap. The simple solution would be to use less harmful chemicals in making the soap. This may not be possible id those chemicals are what remove the oil and grease the best. The outlandish solution would be to remove all oil centers out of the ocean. I understand that we are able to get a lot of oil that way but the risk of an oil spill is too great. Oil spills can take months to clean and the water is never really the same after that. Wildlife can’t thrive with unclean water. Putting more oil centers on land isn’t the best solution but it could save more animals that way. An even crazier idea would be to get rid of all oil centers and find a renewable resource to use, again I really have no idea what we could do other than to stop using it.

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False eco-claims in the hospitality industry

There is an increasing trend in going green and claiming eco-friendly services. Many companies including hotels are marketing more eco-friendly alternatives, but are consumers aware of the legitimacy of these “greener” options. Many hotels spend more time and money claiming to be green rather than actually applying these practices to reduce their environmental impact. They slap a green label on anything possible to attract visitors. Of course the savvy eco-friendly traveler will pay a little more to help the environment, but are they really getting what they paid for. Lets take towel usage as an example, it is common to see a place holder to give visitors the option of reusing their towel by hanging them up, thus reducing water usage. Think about it, housekeepers replace towels on a daily basis, does one towel really make that much of a difference. A great amount of water is still being used, making the reuse of a towel insignificant. The same situation goes for sheets, but in reality, not getting your sheets washed everyday during your stay does not save the planet, and often, sheets and towels end up getting washed anyway. Another green alternative in some hotels are the use of recycling bins, but unfortunately housekeepers are still seen throwing recycled items into their trashcans when cleaning rooms. At the end of the day, these placeholders are suggesting that we recycle in anyway possible and to always choose an environmentally friendly alternative. This should remain unchanged although the effect of reusing towels and sheets seems to be insignificant compared to all other energy used in a hotel building.
For hotels to be less green washed there should be only one organization to oversee the legitimacy of a green hotel. Because of independent organizations, standards are obviously going to be different. So some hotel may have certifications that would not pass another organizations requirements. But this would be difficult for one place to oversee all hotels worldwide, which choose to take a more eco-friendly route. Or better yet, one towel per person, no sheets washed until check out, reduce prices for customers because they wont have a fresh pillow case or towel every morning.

Twambo Moyo

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Welcome to the Dark Side

In recent years, LED light bulbs have begun to pose a huge threat to Standard Incandescent, Halogen Incandescent, and Compact Fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs. LED lightbulbs are reported to not contain mercury, have a significantly longer lifespan, and also save homeowners a note-worthy amount of money over time. The promise of quality and savings may persuade consumers to purchase one of these remarkable LED lightbulbs at $20-$50, over a $0.60 Incandescent. However, one might question if there are any other cons beside the obvious increase in price. Welcome to the Dark Side! According to a study published in 2010 by the journal, Environmental Science and Technology, researchers found that LEDs contain lead, arsenic, and a dozen other potentially dangerous substances. Thus, making the high praising conversation around these energy efficient lightbulbs a possible attempt to hide the unpleasant facts in an environmental context, also known as “green washing.” Green washing is when a company or organization spends more money and time claiming to be “green” through advertising and marketing, than actually conducting business practices that minimize environmental impact. In the case of LED lightbulbs, the pros to seem to outweigh the cons as the bulbs still prove to be the best choice on the market for energy savings, light quality, and environmental footprint. Also, in today’s society, some form of lighting is a necessity. The example of greenwashing in regards to LED lighting poses a need to change in readily available and factual information. The risks of the LED bulbs should be readily available to consumers along with the benefits. At this time, one thing remains unchanged and that is that LED bulbs have replaced unsafe options with a “better” unsafe option.

As scientists work to invent a better lightbulb, a positive alternative may be appear simpler than that. Solar lighting and natural sunlight would present as a safer and more energy efficient system to receiving light all together. However, as the majority of homes in America are electrically wired, and solar panelling systems are costly, this would require a transformation on many levels. A political transformation would have to take place to provide more encouragement and assistance with taking this route in home lighting. A social transformation would have to take place as society as a whole would need to slow down and see the benefits of solar lighting. An economic transformation would need to occur to make the systems more affordable and attainable for all classes. A technological transformation would also need to occur in order to transition homes from electrical wiring to solar power systems in an affordable and convenient way. Technically speaking, this is not impossible and could occur one day. I believe however, that this is a slow transition that has already begun to take place. This will take many years and many transformational events to become common place in the lighting of American homes.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/led-lightbulb-concerns/

http://www.sunrun.com/solar-lease/cost-of-solar/

https://www2.dteenergy.com

http://themetapicture.com/dark-side-promises/

Written by Dallas Smith

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Fur is “Green” campaign

Fur companies have been taking hits for years about their treatment of the animals they take fur from. One of these companies named, The Fur Council of Canada (FCC), decided to fight back by creating the “Fur is Green” campaign. They even have a website and everything (http://www.furisgreen.com/furisgreen.aspx). This is an example of green washing. They are saying that their product is environmentally friendly to try to redirect attentions from the animal cruelty claims that most fur companies are associated with over the years. The funny thing about this is that the campaign actually worked. On the FCC website, there is an article title, “Fur, A Renewable Resource”, the company claims that “Fur is a natural, renewable and sustainable resource. That means we only use part of what nature produces each year without depleting wildlife populations or damage the natural habitats that sustain them. The goal is to maintain long-term ecological balance.” They also claim that it is durable, recyclable, and biodegradable. The whole campaign is suggesting that we change our views about fur companies torturing animals for their fur and see them as the environmentalist that there are. The truly shocking thing is that the campaign worked.

According to an article in the Huffington post article “The Only Thing Green About Fur Is Profit” (2013), The FCC “managed to position themselves as a “council” of environmentalist, rather than the industry-funded lobby group that they actually are (2013).” Fur is making a comeback in Canada. The FCC not only manage to draw everyone’s attention away from animal cruelty claims, they managed to turn a profit in doing so. This leaves us with quite the predicament. How do you combat this? PETA, an animal rights activist group has been on the front-line in the fight against fur for years and people still wear it. What can be done differently. I think that they needs to be a new anti-fur organization that starts a campaign from scratch. They need to do campaigning much like the anti tobacco organizations do today. I recently saw an ad that said “#finishit”. Anti fur organizations need to do similar things. I said that they need a new organization because PETA has too much negative press along with the name. When I think of PETA, I think of animal rights activist. I also think about them as the people who throw red paint on people wearing fur and accuse them of being murders. That is not a good image to have with some people. Here is my personal view on wear fur. It is only acceptable if you live in the wilderness and you are using it for warmth. That was the main reason people in the past wore fur. It was about survival. People use fur today for profit and style. If we can find a material to use that is not hurting any living beings and is not harming the environment in the process of creating or discarding it, then we will truly be one step closer to becoming more “Eco-friendly'”.

– Stephen Evans

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Dawn Dish Soap

As for a solution to this problem its a little difficult because I don’t know much about oil or the chemicals used in this dish soap. The simple solution would be to use less harmful chemicals in making the soap. This may not be possible id those chemicals are what remove the oil and grease the best. The outlandish solution would be to remove all oil centers out of the ocean. I understand that we are able to get a lot of oil that way but the risk of an oil spill is too great. Oil spills can take months to clean and the water is never really the same after that. Wildlife can’t thrive with unclean water. Putting more oil centers on land isn’t the best solution but it could save more animals that way. An even crazier idea would be to get rid of all oil centers and find a renewable resource to use, again I really have no idea what we could do other than to stop using it.