Greenwash Of The Week: Flying Around The Globe Going To “Green” Expos.


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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.

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  1. Not to mention the fact that the majority of vendors attending the “green” expos are selling greenwashed junk!!! #FAIL

  2. I doubt it, Nicko. Flying is incredibly bad for the environment, and most of these conferences hand out paper and other knick-knacks to thousands of people. Attending 1 a year might be ok – but I am talking about those who attend all of them in the name of “being green”.

  3. This argument is based on the assumption that air travel will always negate the environmental benefits of going to an eco conference. But is this always the case? Probably not. Green conferences provide revenue and growth opportunities for fledging eco-businesses, they provide a medium for an excited public to get involved, and they serve as a place to network and share ideas. It’s hard to quantify those benefits, but isn’t it likely that they more than make up for the carbon output of air travel?

  4. I’m writing from New Delhi, and I am glad to see this post. I think it’s about time Americans and Europeans got a bit more stirred up about the damage they and their compatriots are doing to the world. Trudy Styler is only the worst of the bunch.

    This summer, Carbon that was made in the USA and Europe almost surely caused what many officials are calling the “worst drought in 40 years” and the “worst flood in 10,000 years.” Those might be slight exaggerations, but it is not an exaggeration to say that a lot of people have and will continue to die as a result of these and other extreme climate events.

    Nice place you have here.

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