Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Lying About Green To Get Your Green

Many times, when a resort/airline/cruise line/car rental company says they're "going green", they're totally b.s.-ing you.

Hotels are figuratively falling all over themselves to out-green each other. Most of their efforts look sincere but have a negligible effect on the environment. So you're washing fewer towels? Good for you. That's not saving the planet -- it's saving you money. You're recycling? Nice, but in many places, that's just following the law. You installed water-saving showerheads? Great, now can you convince those Americans who insist on taking two showers a day to cut back? Being socially responsible, say experts, isn't just about adopting one or even several "green" practices, but changing the way a resort and its guests think about the environment and their limited resources...

One question you must ask yourself when booking a green vacation is: How sustainable is each component? It's easy to write off a plane running on biofuel as unworkable, at least for now. But what about the golf resort that bills itself as green but then irrigates the desert in order to offer guests a lush lawn to play on? How about the full-service hotel that practically scolds you for not reusing your towels, but then stocks its minibars with overpriced water bottled in landfill-clogging plastic? And don't even get me started on cruise ships ...

Besides, if you fly halfway around the world to take an eco-tour of a rain forest, are you really doing that much for the environment? How much did you pollute to get there?

5 comments:

Michael Nevin said...

It was only a matter of time until Green went mainstream. I think that going green is more like what the old hippies/permaculturists/urban homesteaders say it is.

Ellen K said...

Forty is the new thirty, green is the new super. I suspect that just about every ad agency in Manhattan is trying to squeeze a little green in their ads. It used to be red was the color of excitement. In fact, historically, green is the least favorite color of most Americans. Blue, which symbolizes calm, loyalty and serenity is still the top color. I wonder how this will play out in products that become literally green. Will sales drop?

neko said...

I just wonder how long before everyone gets bored with "green" and moves onto the next fad. I think much of the "green" crap that is being forced down our throats lately is from people who just want to be with the in crowd. They aren't genuinely concerned with the enviroment, nor even understand what is going on.

Marianne said...

I had to laugh yesterday -- People Magazine has a blurb about Leonardo DiCaprio moving to a "green" building in NYC. Part of it's features? 24 hour fresh filtered air systems.

Hmm. I'm involved in school construction -- where voluminous fresh air is required as part of our state building code for schools and impacts our choices in HVAC systems. Can I tell you how much energy we burn to provide that fresh air??? Yeesh.

Not so green - but MSM won't call it.

allen (from Michigan) said...

> I just wonder how long before everyone gets bored with "green" and moves onto the next fad.

A great question! A wonderful question.

I may be a cock-eyed optimist but I believe I'm already seeing some signs of eco-fatigue. When a fad hits Hollywood you know it's on the skids. I just hope the boredom with enviro-hysteria becomes great enough to head off too much more in the way of eco-damage.

We didn't take the bait with the Kyoto Accords but the global warming hype hasn't run its course yet and may not have even crested yet. But I hope so.