Greenwashing is defined as “the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service” and every so often, even the savviest among us can occasionally get the wool pulled over our eyes. Even though there’s now a handy website called the Greenwashing Index that empowers hoodwinked consumers to blow the whistle on the worst offenders, the reality is that some companies are incredibly skilled and even underhanded regarding the way in which they create seemingly genuine eco-campaigns that in reality shroud the truth.
Here’s a sobering reminder that even well-intentioned planet-loving celebrities can succumb to major greenwashing, as apparently was the case when everyone from Sandra Bullock, Blake Lively and John Goodman to Emeril Lagasse, Dave Matthews and Lenny Kravitz appeared in the recent ‘Be The One” public service announcement promoting Gulf coast restoration. The cast of famous faces were simply trying to spread awareness and urge the public to sign a petition demanding that our government bankroll oil clean up efforts. Seems reasonable enough, right? Unfortunately, it turns out that the whole thing was the work of Shell oil-funded front organization America’s Wetland Foundation which was designed to take the heat off of big oil’s fiscal responsibility and instead convince consumers that the BP aftermath should be funded by our government…i.e. taxpayers.
Those with a ‘benefit of the doubt’ frame of mind might be tempted to believe the following claim posted on Shell’s website just two years ago by their president Marvin Odum – that “respect for the environment is integral to how we conduct our business….Shell is proud to help preserve and protect this unique environmental treasure (the Louisiana coastal area) for citizens today and generations to come” – if it weren’t for the current oil spill mess that we’re facing. According to various eco-sleuths, Shell isn’t the only corporation hiding behind America’s Wetland Foundation — add BP, Chevron, Citgo and ExxonMobil to the sludgy mix.
Wisely, Sandra Bullock has just pulled her support of the murky campaign until this whole tangled mess can be verified with hard cold facts, but it’s all incredibly suspicious and more than a few well respected media outlets are crying foul play. Do any of us need another good reason why we should be riding our bikes or hoofing it on a full time basis?
Via Fail Drill