Q&A: Like Obama, Like Business – Drying yourself clean after greenwashing

19 11 2008

www.greenprinteronline.com dispatch.

A post by contributing writer Melissa Chungfat.

Obama, quite literally, has the weight of the world on his shoulders. His consistent rhetoric and his positive impacts in the community played a big part in his landslide victory. Now everyone is watching him closely to see if he delivers on what he promised to the public. After all, when it comes to credibility, actions speak louder than words, and people judge companies the same way.

Since green has gone mainstream, there are a lot of companies who have been greenwashing, spending money or time on giving the appearance of being green instead of spending resources to alleviate environmental impact. The environmental marketing company TerraChoice released the study “The Six Sins of Greenwashing“, which found that 99% of 1,018 common consumer products randomly surveyed were guilty of greenwashing. That’s a lot of lying.

Let’s use paper as an example and how you can dry yourself from all the greenwashing by knowing what signs and labels to look for. 

Q: If I’m buying a stock of paper, should I just look for a label that says it’s made from recycled content? 

A: No. There are a lot of paper products that say they’re recycled, but there are more factors that are important in reducing harmful impacts on the environment. In an interview with GreenBiz.com, Project Manager Tom Pollock at Paper Working Group said that looking only at recycled content is not a true measure of good environmental performance. “With paper products, this means understanding environmental performance at the forest level, mill level, how it gets to the consumer, etc.” He also said that someone could buy recycled paper made at a paper mill overseas and he cited a Time Magazine study that showed the majority of greenhouse gas emissions came from paper mils.

Q: What should I look for if I want to buy recycled paper? 

A: The main thing to look for is post-consumer recycled content. The Metro Regional Government explains that recycled content is an item that contains recovered materials while post-consumer material is an end consumer product that has served its purpose and separated from solid waste to be recycled into new paper. Don’t assume that a product is made of post-consumer content just because it says it is recycled content. It’s important to look for the amount of post-consumer material that is in the paper. 

Q: Are there certification labels I can look for? 

A: Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification is one credible label you can look for when you’re buying paper. The Forest Stewardship Council is an independent organization that uses comprehensive social and environmental criteria to ensure that timber and paper products are produced responsibly. Green Printer is one company that uses FSC-certified paper in addition to 100% post-consumer recycled fiber. The certification assures their clients that the fibers come from forests that are managed to meet the social, economic, and ecological needs of present and future generations. 

Now is the perfect time to use recycled paper because it’s not only sold at a competitive price, but it can even be cheaper than using traditional paper. 

Just another success story on how both the environment and business can profit.

Want to know how much greenhouse gas, trees and wastewater you can save by using affordable, eco-friendly paper products? Find out and keep track of your organization’s environmental savings today by adding Green Printer’s Eco-Calculator widget code to your blog, Facebook or website.


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One response to “Q&A: Like Obama, Like Business – Drying yourself clean after greenwashing”

19 11 2008
Green Printer Blog « Melissa Chungfat (19:24:45) :

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