Thursday, September 15, 2011

Visual Essay: Proposal

Lana McLean
Visual Essay Proposal
Green Washing
            We live in a world in which it is becoming increasingly clear that our environmental resources are running out. Not running out like some time in my great great grandchild’s lifetime, running out like now. So what is a modern consumer suppose to do? Surely we do not want to continue abusing our Earth they way we have since the industrial revolution (captain planet taught us that). However, how are we expected to live a world, where it becomes all too incontinently obvious that if we continue our bad habits we end up destroying the only home we know of.
            The solution? Going green! Otherwise known as environmentalism. NewWorldEncyclopedia. Org defines environmentalism as “a perspective that encompasses a broad range of views concerned with the preservation, restoration, or improvement of the natural environment”. No matter how far out on the right wing you stand, one can’t argue that the preservation of the environment is a negative ideal.
             Luckily for the average American consumer, we live in a Capitalist economy, meaning our countries trade industry is controlled by private owners, instead of the state. So for that American consumer, when they walk into their local Wal-Mart, they now have a variety of “green” earth-friendly products to choose from. “Consumers have embraced living green, and for the most part the mainstream green movement has embraced green consumerism. But even at this moment of high visibility and impact for environmental activists, a splinter wing of the movement has begun to critique it”(). When the consumer is faced with the fact that buying this product will not only improve their life, but it can increase the lifespan of Earth they feel as though their hard earned money is going towards a good cause, a green cause. “This act of misleading consumers in regards to the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product and service”() is what is known as Greenwashing. The results of this marketing scheme do not in fact help increase the lifespan of the Earth. Actually the average consumer does as much, if not more, harm to the Earth by deciding to buy these products. Some examples of everyday greenwashing include green cleaning products, packaged food from Whole Foods, Burtz Bees Lip Balm, and of course buying a hybrid car to cut down on fuel cost. Now to reiterate, being an environmentalist is still not a bad idea. It is just a common misconception that we as Americans can buy away our greater global problems. The reason why we are running low on our natural resources is because of the need to keep up with our average consumption. So therefore it is naïve to believe that by consuming more, one can therefore feel as though they are helping the environment.  The true answers for the average consumer who wants to participate in environmental philosophy lies within the sustainment of local agriculture and commerce.

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