Going Green

Matty, a “MySpace” blogger, posted a rampage on hypocrisy of corporations. I responded thus:

It’s great to hear people really irritated with the ironic hypocrisy that goes with, well just about anything, especially when you’re talking about Sustainability.

Deb was absolutely right to be irritated about the people who claim to be ‘green’, but only do it as a trendy statement.

Despite all these evils, part of it is good. This mean awareness is raised about the importance of watching what we do and being better stewards to the earth. And yes, if green practices, building, and policies are implemented across the board, we would save a lot of money. So, it’s not that bad for a corporation to advertise their greenness when really all they are trying to do is save money.

What is worse, though, is when you look at the other aspects of sustainability, and then you see how they are really flunking on that report card. Sustainability is defined in many ways, and the definition is fluid, like all language. But, two decent definitions are the 3Es and the definitions used on the 1987 World Commission on Development, otherwise known as the Brundtland Report. Essentially, sustainability (going green) is viewed as encompassing environment, economy, and equity (as in social justice). Think of it as a three legged stool, if one thing is missing the stool falls down.

So for corporations, they are only servicing the environment where it immediately saves them money, so they can still burn rain forests in Brazil, and Honda can make all the new hybrids it wants, instead of retrofitting old cars to do the same thing, and they call it green.

So, Matty, what would be more interesting is to actually challenge these places to go further. Encompass the environment more; really work to have social justice.

There’s a tirade to your tirade.

The question is, what as regular, average Joes, what can we do to push corporations to be more responsible. It seems that boycotts don’t work, so what other methods could we use to get Honda or Toyota to retrofit old cars, get a cradle-to-cradle cycle instead of cradle-to-grave. What besides writing congressmen who are in bed with the corporations anyway?

Hopefully someone will read this with some more ideas!