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Are "Greening" Businesses Really in It for the Green Backs?

Are "Greening" Businesses Really in It for the Green Backs?

Earth Day swings around on April 22. That bastion of reducing, reusing, and recycling is galloping toward becoming a shopping holiday that barely resembles the grass-roots event founded in 1970.

According to Advertising Age in honor of the planet friendly holiday, shoppers can consume even more goods. They can:

shop at Banana Republic, where 1% of sales from April 22 through April 27 benefit the Trust for Public Land. Or they can participate in Macy's "Turn Over A New Leaf" campaign by making a $5 donation to the National Park Foundation. In exchange, customers receive 10% or 20% off most merchandise the weekend of April 26.

I'm not advocating a hemp-based existence but something about this plan seems amiss. Shopping for new goods to cure the planet? Is this eco-madness? You know it's getting out of control when even Barbie has a green-accessories collection for sale. To see who's fighting back,


Hoping to stem the trend of anti-ecological shopping frenzies the Anti-Advertising Agency has come up with a response to those ubiquitous "Buy This, Want This, Need This" stickers you find in tons of magazines. The stickers say "You Don't Need This" and would certainly make a potential buyer pause before making an unnecessary purchase. Get a free set and start your own anti-shopping eco-campaign.

Do you feel like you're helping the planet if a portion of the sale benefits earth-friendly organizations? Is it just part of making smart choices, or do you think the smartest thing is just not shopping at all?


harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
One of the things pushing these companies to go green besides jumping on the bandwagon of government tax cuts. To control my urge to buy everything under the sun I try to stick to the rule that if I bring something into my home something has to go out. A house diet if you will. ;) I love freecycle and I LOVE Method products!
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Thanks DC! I've heard about home remedies... I think its in the Martha Stewart book, but I've been too lazy to try them out! Until now!! ;)
DCStar DCStar 9 years
sashak, cabaker: check out casa's page on home remedies you can make yourself on the cheap! Here's a link: Basically all you need is baking soda, vinegar and borax to mix up a lot of eco-friendly cleaners. Also google eco-friendly alternatives, I've definitely seen cleaning product recipes on other sites as well.
sashak sashak 9 years
I don't think the tub & tile stuff worked very well for us either, but they have lots & lots of other products. Dish soap, hand soap, wood, metal, & stone wipes, candles, shaving cream, etc. I LOVE the wood wipes too :nerdgirl: The dryer sheets are really cool b/c they are ment to be used twice. Also, they are slightly damp, which actually gets rid of more static that totally dry ones.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
See I have only tried the Method tub and tile and it didn't work for beans for me!
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
I have not tried the dryer sheets, but now I am going to have to go out and buy some!
sashak sashak 9 years
Aren't they awesome?! The dryer sheet are the greatest things ever, I swear. And the gaint refill bags you can get for the soaps? Pure genius! Hypnotic- I was wondering while I felt compelled to use "indeed" & then I went back & re-read your post haha!
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
sashak, I love Method products!
sashak sashak 9 years
I'm all for companies going green, but I'm not gonna buy something just because a label says its "green". I've been using Method products for awhile now & I really like them becuase they are inexpensive, work really well & are so eco-friendly. But I'm not gonna run to Banana for a pair of pants I don't need. Curbing the rampant consumerism threatening to take over the world is the only way we'll be able to make a difference... *sigh* And that will be a very hard task indeed
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Very good point indeed. I can see the ironic side of excessive shopping on a day when we're suppose to be focusing on reducing waste and promoting conservation. All the more reason for the individual to make the effort to bring a reusable bag along on their trip and be a conscious recyclers.
DCStar DCStar 9 years
Buy less, reuse more, use the website freecycle, use a reusable coffee mug or sigg bottle for your daily beverage fixes, and just remember "YOU DONT NEED THAT!" I agree with syako's husband! I can barely remember the last time I went shopping or bought new items. Guess what, it's ok!
stephley stephley 9 years
I feel that I'm helping if I buy from a company like Newman's Own or Newman's Own Organics, but I'm suspicious of most other offers.
linb linb 9 years
Being green is a trend right now, and businesses are just trying to benefit from it anyway they can. If they really cared about the issues, they would donate money regardless of what you buy, when you buy it. What happens if I buy something the day after the promotion ends? The environment is only important on certain days?
Auntie-Coosa Auntie-Coosa 9 years
STUPID ideas by corporation CEOs who want to get a larger bonus at the end of the year. REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE That's the only way we're going to reduce the use of resources.
kia kia 9 years
Of course many people are in it to make money and not really concerned about "greening" too much. If they really cared they would be promoting that people need to be mindful of their resources, consume less, and re-use what they have. However that doesn't make sound business sense.
EkaterinaBallerina EkaterinaBallerina 9 years
It also has a moral initiative to it. I was raised to not support what I didn't believe in. My parents didn't shop at certain stores or eat at certain restaurants if they didn't agree with the company's practices. It's making sure your money doesn't end up where you wouldn't want it too. What bothers me about this article is that it is neglecting that a lot of these initiatives are done with local farmers or workers in mind. A lot clothing and cosmetic companies are now selling products that local workers have a direct hand in and are directly supported by. I'm willing to pay a little more for a product if the person who made it gets more out of it than they normally would. The green movement is also about ethical choices. Frankly I don't really care if a company makes a bigger profit if they have changed their practices and their ingredients. The world isn't perfect people, but if harmful chemicals have been taken out of products we put on our skin and on our bodies, then I'm all for it.Just be sure that you know exactly what you are buying. I didn't come from a wealthy family but I was always taught that just because something is cheap doesn't mean its a good deal. Why buy something for that won't last? I'm willing to spend a little more on certain products if they will last longer. That's why they call them sustainable. People, please do not write off the green products. Yes you don't need everything, but there are products you can replace your old ones with.
redegg redegg 9 years
Yes, "green" has been a great marketing tool. I'm amazd at all the ways people have figured out how to profit off of it. Both private companies and cities and governments are starting to, too.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
You said it Sy! This whole green thing has been a great initiative for marketers... I mean they can make a bathroom cleaner that doesn't work half as well, contains less of the product, and charge twice as much for it and people will happily buy it up! I'm very distrustful of the green label, its like when you see cookies that are "organic" but are loaded with fat and sugar... you gotta look beyond the label...
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 9 years
I completely agree w/ syako and Cine. I understand what you mean Krissugar! LOL ;)
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
Exactly Syako. All I know is, I don't need any more crap. I am trying valiantly to get rid of it! i have to think back to when i grew up in a small town, and there were no clothes stores within 60 miles, and I had to just wear something out of my closet. Back then, I made due because I didn't have any other options, and things were fine. Now I live in the city, and there is a store 5 minutes from me in every direction. I just have to go home and pretend like there are no stores to shop at, and go stand in my closet and stare until I pick something.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
This whole green thing, hemp this, organic that, leaves me cold, I have been eating genetically modified food, throwing fertilizer X and J on my mother's lawn and flowers and my dad's veggies, wearing synthetic fabrics and using diesel and petrol cars and using free plastic bags when i shop all my life and i'm perfectly fine with that, everything else is just too expensive. I recycle, I don't litter, when I am home we compost, i walk everywhere when i'm here and that's my contribution.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
"I think the consumer demand has to be top priority in order for things to be changed." :notworthy: What a true statement! And this goes for most laws that people want to pass. If we as a people stand up and demand action, we don't need the federal government to come in where they do not belong. We are the ones with the power, but it seems lately US citizens want the Government to be the ones with all the power over the people.
syako syako 9 years
Well I'd say keep shopping but my husband shouts, YOU DON'T NEED THIS! :bossy: In all honesty, a corporation (Especially retail shops) are in it to make a profit. So all these initiatives, not matter how much the "green adviser" for the company wants to think otherwise, are all a ploy to make more money. How do you make more money? Get people to buy more stuff. So you can say you'll give 1 penny to charity, make the shopper feel proud about him/herself and then you don't really lose anything because really, what's a penny to you? All in all I feel like right now it's such a "trend" and these stores/brands think that just something tiny like a sticker will cause flocks of people to buy...(and it usually does) We're from such a culture of excess that it makes real initiatives (like banning plastic shopping bags) that much more difficult to implement. I think the consumer demand has to be top priority in order for things to be changed.
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