SC Johnson and bloggers encourage greener lifestyle – but are they missing the point?

SC Johnson logoIt’s commendable when a giant manufacturer like S.C. Johnson really puts its focus on green living. And even better when it strives to get the message out to as wide an audience as possible via the internet. But looking beyond the hype, one has to wonder if perhaps they’re missing the point somehow.

Today S.C. Johnson launched its 30 Green Days Challenge where it’s enlisted mom bloggers from four families in the U.S., Canada and the UK to make one “green-minded” change each day, for one month and share their experience on the net. These bloggers and authors will share their insights on their websites and on the company’s Green Choices site. The featured families will also receive $10,000 to put towards environmental efforts in their communities.

The company says the campaign’s aim is to “generate conversation around sustainable behavior.” But does it get the job done? After all, its more sustainable products include concentrated cleaner refills in recyclable mini bottles and compostable Ziploc bags.

Plastic bottles no moreIsn’t it more commonsense to encourage people to find green alternatives to plastic products? ZipLoc used to have terrific glass storage containers as an alternative to their plastic ones. This writer had the opportunity to test them and found them to be excellent products. Unfortunately, S.C. Johnson sold that product line several years ago and has remained in the plastic arena ever since.

Yes it’s incredibly important that consumers get on the green bandwagon and are educated as to the levels of what this can mean in their lives. There are all sorts of alternatives – many of them affordable ones. Just check out this blog for countless examples. But encouraging consumers to use more plastic albeit recyclable plastic, misses the boat. Living a green lifestyle means using products that don’t harm the planet. And with the ominous examples of the continually growing plastic gyres in our world’s oceans, you have to be pretty simple minded to believe that plastic is a green alternative.

So I’d rate S.C. Johonson’s green campaign with a failing grade but barely so. Good thought; bad execution. Time to go back to the drawing board, rethink this one and come up with a different program that is really green – in spirit and in fact.

2 Responses

  1. Debra,

    It seems that many many more companies and people are doing a lot of the ground work these days to generate awareness about living green. And I agree with you, many of these messages are mixed; mostly due to an agenda to also drive product sales or some other hidden agenda.

    I spent a lot of time in the broadcast industry where radio and television stations are constantly competing for listeners and viewers. To generate excitement about their stations, they often run contests and many times what sounds good in the back office is a disaster when executed. For example, one station planned to toss ping pong balls from a helicopter over a stadium filled with sports fans. On ping pong several of the balls had special prizes painted on them. Seems harmless enough when dropped in an office but the prop wash from the blades of the helicopter turned these tiny balls into stinging hail like objects causing panic and hundreds of injuries.

    Perhaps a little scientific theory such as Newton’s Third Law (‘For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction’), should be loosely applied when planning your approach to green issues.

    • Craig:

      Dropping ping pong balls from a helicopter is the equivalent of dropping small missiles on an unsuspecting group of fans – deadly even if well intentioned, which in the case you mentioned, it really wasn’t. How crazy this was!

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