9 Greenwash Eco-Products That Will Kill Our Planet
After the big sinners of hybrid SUVs, Planes flying with biofuels, flown in organic food, Green tariffs or accounts from Electricity firms to bank accounts come a number of small “climate savers”. Here a rundown of nine useless eco-products
1) I am not a plastic bag bag. Hollywood ransacks the Green message and sells it. You may not be a plastic bag but instead you are the 5th or 9th or maybe 20th bag that somebody has bought. You will stay by her side not until you are worn out, but until fashion discards you. Mass consumption meets Green living and every Green trace is washed out.
2) Eco-Kettle. Designed so that you only boil enough water for your needs. Sounds great but this product does not save energy. You have a reservoir of water and every time you make a cuppa you press a button to release water into the boiling chamber. How is that any more eco than the cup sign on all kettles. Ok some people pass the cup sign, but are they really not going to press that button twice. It makes the kettle also heavier and its capacity is reduced. The search for the golden bullet goes on.
3) Solar Garden Lights. “Where is the on button?” “They are on!” People buying these hoping to light up that dark garden path are in for a disappointment. The light is a glow. I would like to know how many people have then replaced the solar ones with main powered ones. Not living up to expectations at the beginning means that many Green products are black listed. The energy saving light bulb is an excellent example of this. Not coming on instantly and a rather dull light have now been solved. The prejudices however remain.
4) Windup Mobile Phone Charger. This cannot be anything other than an emergency solution. The winding times for the talk time are appalling. I got one for Christmas once and said that I would do it in front of the TV. It created too much noise and it interfered with the picture. I was not too popular with my family Another eco-product that sunk to the bottom of my odds and ends draw.
5) Recycled Razors and Blades. The Handel is reusable and made from recycled material. Sounds great until you see that they give you four handles and four blades. How many households have four men that are shaving? Four Blades are ok but why four handles? The reason is clear: we give you four handles to increase the price. Not Green, but deadly consumerism.
6) Eco-Hairdryer. Use a towel! Climate chaos is upon us and people cannot plan to have their hair dry before they step out into the cold. The product does save energy compared to normal hairdryers so maybe I am being harsh. However if Europe and America had the same rules about energy standards as Japan (i.e. the best sets the energy standards for the coming years), then this product would become the standard anyway and it would be renamed as a hairdryer.
7) Eco-stapler. Using a folding technique so that metal staples are not needed, simply genius? The folding technique only works for a couple of pages. An eco-product not able to do the job means no true replacement. I wonder how long it would be, before you were reaching for the metal stapler again. You also get the same effect by simply folding over the corner. A Typical example of a Green product that does have a tiny personal effect i.e. resource/CO2 savings, an effect that with sensible thinking could be achieved without the product.
8) Egg Gas Guardian. An ingenious all be it wacky invention. This capsule means that the gas that your veg and fruit give off as they ripen and that has a ripening affect is absorbed and therefore reduces food waste. The answer is simple. Do I need this kilo of carrots because the 100 g price is cheaper than by individual carrots? No. Therefore buy what you need and plan! My food waste is very low because I look in my fridge and eat what is going bad first. This type of Green product removes responsibility and would probably result in more waste. I have not found any independent reviews rating this product. Buy a note and pad instead and make a shopping list!
9) Kitchen top wormery. This mini wormery was supposed to absorb all my kitchen waste making it into rich compost. Living in a flat in London I thought great. I soon realised that the worms were getting behind. Then one day I tried to tap off the juices, but nothing came out. In the coming days the compost looked wetter and wetter. Something had gone badly wrong. The next time I emptied it the bottom compartment, where the liquids collect, had collapsed blocking the tap and drowning all the little worms. My dreams of great compost had died, even before the worms had met their watery grave. I carried on collecting and pouring in water to get a delicious smelling juice for my houseplants. It was now just a bucket with a tap and something that my flatmates loathed.
These Green products are dangerous because they make people believe that they can buy their way out of their climate killing ways. However what they do is reinforce the consumerism that has pushed our climate to the brink of collapse. Without the moves away from big cars, oil smeared bank accounts and coal powered lights the planet is doomed with or without the eco-hairdryer. The eco-hairdryer just distracts from the real changes we need to make to our lifestyles. Consume simply less by thinking more.