Greenwash, greenwash everywhere

Greenwash, greenwash everywhere and not an ounce of truth

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Bamboo products such molded bamboo (made from bamboo sawdust and touted as green alternative to plastic), and bamboo flooring are still being promoted as the green choice in favor of wood. Sorry, but this does not compute.

While bamboo is an interesting material the flooring is nothing but a laminate, which means glues are being used and, compared to wood laminate flooring, a great deal of heat and other energy has to be expended to make the bamboo flat.

Molded bamboo products, as an alternative to plastics, is also a load of bull dust, as our Australian cousins would say, as fair as sustainability is concerned and is but greenwash.

But there is so much greenwash around in general, and the bigger the company the bigger the lies, it would seem, that we almost drown in the stuff.

OK, let's get back to bamboo once more. Bamboo is not a tree, for starters, but a grass that has a very hard stem when dry and there are indeed many great products that can be and that are being made from bamboo which are, indeed, very green, but only when they are made in the way that they have always, traditionally, been made, by the local craftsmen and -women in those countries where bamboo grows and those products have evolved out of need and creativity of the people that have always relied on bamboo. But bamboo flooring, bamboo board made by gluing strips together, bamboo “plastic”, and such like are greenwash and not green.

The other greenwash, as already indicated, is being perpetuated by the likes of Coka Cola, Pepsi, Kraft, Nestle, and other corporations of their ilk, only in order to bamboozle (sorry about the almost pun) the consumer.

A supposedly 100% plant-based PET plastic bottle that, upon closer inspection states, made with 30% plant material, is not 100% plant-based but maybe 30% and because of this content recycling of that type of PET, according to information from recyclers, is almost impossible. In addition to that, despite the fact that the plastic has a plant-based content it is not, though people are led to believe that, biodegradable and compostable.

Yes, there are indeed plant-based plastic which break down in the environment and which even composts quite nicely. In the latter case most of the time, however, only in commercial hot composting facilities and not in the home compost environment, but they are totally based on corn starch or potato starch and are not a PET.

We can now come to fuels, such as bio-diesel and bio-ethanol. While green, to an extent, in that they are not fossil fuels they are, however, not good for the environment either.

Studies state that the particle emissions from bio-diesel is several times higher than those of oil-based diesel and it is such particle emissions from diesel vehicles that are the cause of respiratory illnesses, especially among children. In addition to that, while not being fossil fuels, they are still being used in an infernal combustion engine and thus still release CO2 and other pollutants.

The people, that is you and I, are being conned left, right and center by industry and by our governments, in the same way as they keep touting, especially in the UK, nuclear power as a green energy. Or, if they try to be less disingenuous, as a low-carbon or even zero carbon energy. But those claims do not compute either for they do not add into the equation the energy, more often than not fossil fuel energy, and thus carbon, in the mining of the uranium and in the shipping of same and then the production of the fuel rods, etc.

Their greenwash simply does not wash and we must equip ourselves with the knowledge to understand the ins and outs so that we can challenge those that make such unsubstantiated claims and outright lies.

Oh, and before I close I think I also better mention “clean coal”. This is a total and utter oxymoron as there is no such thing as “clean coal” and never will be and carbon capture in rocks, caves and under the sea are first and foremost untried and untested and, much like nuclear, a very dangerous undertaking in case of an accident. A nuclear accident releases often dangerous radiation, and we all know that, but consider the release of millions of tons of previously stored CO2 at one foul swoop in an accident. The entire climate balance will collapse within a short space of time without anyone being able to do anything about it and – bang – here goes life on Earth.

Other systems are also being greenwashed to turn out whiter than snow and one of them is so-called geo-engineering in order to reduce warming by blocking out the sun. Or weather manipulation so as to bring rain to drought stricken areas, and such like. Cloud seeding is already many decades old but still almost each and every time that it is being tried it either does not work or, in the worst case, it cause deluges that cause serious flooding and destruction. But man believes himself to be so superior that he thinks he can play weather god and more. Well, we are not that far advanced and we cannot control the weather. We can just cause disasters playing god.

Act against greenwash of all kinds and keep telling others as to what is going on so that people will come to understand how the cookie crumbles.

© 2013