Musings of a conflicted Greenmom...
Corporations and greenness. It’s sort of a dilemma. I’m not talking about greenwashing, exactly, but a new and emerging kind of behavior we’re seeing more and more of: corporations and big brands making green gestures, but still being corporations and big brands.
It’s happening on a lot of levels: there’s the sheer silliness of the Del Monte bananas in the plastic package…while the company trumpets that the plastic wrapper actually is more green because it controls the ripening process. Erm…I don’t buy it. And then there are the “Cuties” mandarin oranges, with a new blitz of commercials talking about how they are great for kids to snack on because they are “made for kids.” On the one hand, hurrah that fresh fruit is getting press; on the other, it’s giving them this whole processed commercialized feel. I’m a little conflicted.
Another source of my conflictedness is Clorox. They have stepped forward and promised to disclose all their ingredients. Great news. Until you see the list, and how full of crazed toxic unpronounceable ingredients its products are.
Then there’s Wal-Mart. I’m the kind of person who watches movies like Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price and does Google searches for “Wal-Mart Sucks” just to see how many hits I’d get. (Answer: about a quarter million.) Then I hear news like this: Walmart Becomes The New EPA, Bans PBDE Fire Retardant. On the one hand, hurrah—good for them. On the other, there’s this part of me that goes, “okay, if the big corporations do all this good stuff on their own, how are we going to convince government to regulate anything? Which is dopey, I know. Less dopey is my question about whether Wal-Mart is also, in its efforts to Lead The Green Pack, working on equality in the workplace, cutting out the union-busting crap, and providing adequate health care and benefits for its employees.
I guess, for me, it in the end isn’t that complicated. I’m glad Wal-Mart is being more responsible about the fire-retardants used in products they sell. But I still won’t shop there. I’m glad Clorox is divulging all its ingredients. But I didn’t buy their products before, and I shall continue to do just fine with vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils for my cleaning products. And I will continue to eat bananas.
But no way am I buying them in plastic.