(as published in Experience Delta magazine, Fall 2017)
Is this the slogan for Delta’s lawn sprinkling restrictions? No. Brown is the new colour for ‘green’ consumerism, and misleading claims about supposedly ‘green’ or environmentally friendly products.
First, the ‘green’ movement happened. Next came exploitive product ‘greenwashing’ (falsely branding products to seem environmentally safe). Then arrived third-party certifiers such as Ecologo® and Green Seal™ who get paid to certify products as safe. That’s where things started turning ‘brown’.
Third party certification standards are set shamefully low to qualify as many products as possible and collect large fees. For approximately $6000.00 and annual renewals upwards of $4000.00, even ‘brown’ products can become ‘certified green’.
The big winners are large corporations. Certifying their existing ‘brown’ products costs less than developing new ‘green’ ones, while smaller companies with truly ‘green’ products struggle with the certification fees. This ‘pay-to-play’ system doesn’t grade products either, so ‘browner’ products get the same certification as the ‘greener’ ones.
Consumers need to be the final certifiers. Stop rewarding ‘brown’ with your hard-earned dollars. Start comparing products on Safety Data Sheets. SDS’s are where the real information sits and ‘brown’ doesn’t want you to see them.