I’ve been finding many examples of greenwashing lately—this is what happens when, for example, companies advertise products as being eco-friendly, when they are really not. My newest example came about when I was informed that I have a new follower on Twitter named GIVE. Curious, I checked out their website, http://www.drinkgive.com/.
GIVE sells energy drinks and bottled water, and donates 10 cents from each sale to a local charity. One bottle in particular is labeled “GIVE love to protect our environment.” Click on the bottle and you’ll find this explanation:
“Our planet is delicate and our natural resources are limited… The long-term health of the earth depends on each of us. Help us raise public environmental consciousness, protect our planet, and conserve our precious resources. GIVE love and live sustainably.”
My jaw dropped. Although I completely agree with their words, I completely disagree with their methods. How is it possible that GIVE thinks producing and selling bottled water is the way to “protect our planet and conserve our precious resources”?
I’d like to believe that GIVE’s heart is in the right place. According to their website, their goal is to “turn consumers into philanthropists without changing anything in their daily lives.” But bottled water uses up natural resources, most importantly, oil and—yes!—water, as it takes more water to manufacture the bottles than what actually goes inside. So buying a bottle of water in order to donate 10 cents to “Friends of the Riverfront,” the local Pittsburgh charity, seems hypocritical, at best.