This week’s Greenwash isn’t about a company or a product, but rather about those “environmentalists” who spend their time flying around the globe going to “green” conferences. How anyone can fly from state to state attending eco-events and still call themselves Green is beyond me. There is absolutely nothing environmentally friendly about air travel – nothing. And while most of us do it on occasion for business or to see family, there are many who travel every week, by air, to work on environmental issues. A Green Festival in Boston, followed by one in San Francisco, followed by a meeting in Paris – they never end. The best way to be involved? Pick the one closest to you and attend it, and then wait for next year’s event. Spending all that time in the air pretty much negates the fact that you are attending an eco-conference. But by picking the one each year closest to you, at least your attendance at the festivals won’t be a giant greenwash.
And some celebrities are even worse at the Greenwashing of their eco-activities. Take Trudy Styler & Sting, for example. The couple claim to be environmentalists, but they own many mansions spread out all over the world that they fly back and forth between…as they preach to us to save the rainforest and live sustainable lifestyles. I don’t begrudge them for being wealthy; I say congrats for “making it”. But to call yourselves environmental activists while using many more resources than the average person and flying in private planes between your many houses, is, well, Greenwashing.
So before buying yet another plane ticket to go to an event on the other side of the world, ask yourself – is it absolutely necessary that I attend this event? And if I go, how will my carbon emissions and pollution affect the rest of the world? Being an environmentalist doesn’t mean just talking the talk – you gotta try to walk it, too.