Green or Gone?

Photo belongs to Dianna. Usual rules apply.

Couple of posts by other people have got me thinking.

Thinking? Me? I know, I know. Hard to imagine. But suspend that disbelief. I’ve been thinking about green issues and how they tie into responsibility.

I recycle, and am aware of the need to reduce my carbon footprint. But, I must confess, it becomes a little bit more blurry when we factor in big businesses. Considering this blog is dedicated (partially) to thinking about advertising and communications in general, it’s worth noting that we as an industry have become ever more aware of our responsibility to the public.

Yet, our responsibility is to sell things to people. Directly in opposition to the green issues, or so it would seem at first glance.

But what happens when companies unite to sort out problems in society? Childhood obesity, for example?

Well, as Innocent may find out, it could be damaging or wonderful, depending on your choice of partner and the consumer’s point of view.

Do we now put up a barrier between those companies which are mindful of ethical and green issues and those which don’t appear to be (and McDonalds in this instance are taking steps), or do we acknowledge that these companies do exist to make money, and all the good will in the world won’t change that (yes, it’s an ultra-cynical view)?

The world is never that black and white, as this debate on Amelia Torode’s blog shows. I’ve put my two pen’north in, and you should too, if you haven’t already. Class, emotive responses, green thinking, uncomfortable bedfellows and snobbery all feature.

The thing which struck me on the Innocent site was the depth of emotion in some of the responses; some of these people could seriously fuck the brand, if not managed carefully. I’m still of the view that it is a good thing (albeit something which has to be handled with the utmost attention), but it’s a divisive issue.

And indeed, it brings us to the bigger issue, which I sort of touched on above – as consumers, where do we fall? All companies will have to get greener, but will there be a capitalist backlash (not now) against anyone that besmirches the environment? I doubt it, but the pendulum seems to be swinging a little more in that direction.

There is definitely (at the moment) still room for two fingers, fuck it, we are going to produce this luxury item for people who can afford it thinking. But whether that’ll last remains to be seen.

And oh, I’ve stumbled along a brilliant (green) blog. Check out Little Green Dot. And if you haven’t already, read John Grant’s new blog, Greenormal. He’s done some proper thinking into the subject.