Buta Full Life

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Horton Hears a “Green”

We’re green! We’re green! We’re green!

Every company these days seems to shout ME TOO!

Here’s a primer of how I try to look at “hip” marketing.

I start with this basic questions: Assuming the cleaner actually works, does this "green" product meet the Four Criteria for truly green household cleaners; are they really non-toxic, biodegradable, multitasking, and concentrated?

Let's pull an example:
Chlorox GreenWorks is the loudest “green” shouter these days. This “newbe” to “green” has introduced a line of household products that are around 99% natural. That’s good!

They partnered with Walmart for the “You Plus 200 Million” marketing campaign. That’s smart!

The ad reads:
“YOU x 200 Million can eliminate the production of 2.5 million gallons of petroleum-based solvents.” Cool! I like that-sounds passionate and committed!

Let's apply the Four Criteria:
  • So, is it non-toxic? They say yes and 99% natural. (good start)
  • Is it biodegradable? They say yes - at around 28 days. (ok, but doesn’t meet the European Standard)
  • Is it multitasking? Countertop spray, five uses. The floor cleaner is recommended for four tasks. (partially meets the criteria)
  • Is it concentrated? Countertop spray-no. (doesn't meet the criteria)
Wow: 32 oz x 200 million bottles sold (see the marketing above!) would translate into 10 billion gallons of basically water shipped around the country! Ummm, that’s a lot of petroleum to haul around something I can get from my own tap! Would you agree with me that’s unnecessary waste and doesn't meet the criteria?
The floor cleaner dilutes at a ratio of 4 oz (1/2 cup) in 1.5 gallons of water. Since I know other products are much more concentrated, it's greener, but still has too much impact on the environment.

That's why I use the Four Criteria. I can see "up and over" the marketing and determine objectively that GreenWorks is "greener" but there's A LOT of room for improvement. So therefore, I wouldn't recommend it to you because there are better products that fit the criteria!

So, why not use 1/4 teaspoon of the concentrated product I recommend for countertop cleaner AND floor cleaner and lots more instead of 32 oz + 28 oz of theirs?
How about you add the water and have real impact on the environment? Agreed?

Thanks for reading!