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“You Don’t Have to Be Green To Be Green”

By Jenn (TinyChoices.com) | September 16, 2008

I’m loving this video, produced on behalf of MTV’s new “Switch” anti-greenwashing campaign:

“Switch is MTV Networks International’s Global Climate Change Campaign… This isn’t about what we can’t do, it’s about what we can. It’s time to Switch.”

Best lyrics: “It doesn’t really matter what it is or what it does or why it stinks or what it means as long as it is green…”  We’ve talked about greenwashing before, with Clorox Greenworks and  Fresh Direct, and it’s a phenomena most everyone has noticed by this point– companies are using any spin they can to present their product or service in a “green” light, even when it’s an almost laughable connection.  I love how this MTV campaign is helping to make the concept of greenwashing a household term, and perhaps getting folks to take a closer and more scrupulous look at eco-claims boldly printed on labels and advertisements.

While the Switch website is clearly targeting a hipper demographic than me (am I the only one who just gets annoyed at Flash sites?), I like how it makes the eco concept light, fun, and doable.  No big words or confusing terms here, just basic concepts like turning down your thermostat and eating fresh foods instead of frozen (unfortunately I can’t link to any of these tips because *it’s an annoying Flash site*).  While more advanced greenies might not learn many new tips from Switch, it’s a great primer for those just getting their feet wet. Plus it’s all slick with lots of videos and celeb green gossip provided by Ecorazzi.

Do you think campaigns like this will help reach those who might otherwise ignore more traditional environmental messages? 

Topics: Activism, Media | 4 Comments »

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Comment by Brandy
2008-09-16 10:00:52

Had to laugh at the “annoying Flash site” comment… Flash development is a large part of what I do for a living. :) But I totally get it! Unfortunately “coolness” is often valued over accessibility when it comes to this type of website, especially by clients who may not think about those things. (Granted, it isn’t the client’s job to know about accessibility–it is the developer’s job to inform them so they are able to make better decisions.)

But more on topic, yeah, I like the idea of helping people figure out the difference between greenwashing and truly green decisions. I don’t know if it will sway corporations from using those marketing tactics, but hopefully it will help consumers figure out for themselves what they ought to be doing, rather than just buying products that claim to be good for the environment. (Right now, some of the things people do boggle my mind… for example, my mom says she is thrilled with the idea of alternative energy sources, but won’t bother recycling a piece of paper if the trash bin is closer. Huh?)

2008-09-16 21:37:19

I’m with you on the annoying flash site thing. :) Maybe it’s just a few of us. Yes, it is cool for the site, but really puts a crimp in the conversational aspect of the web.

Anyhow, great post, and cheers to anti-greenwashing. It’s ridiculous how far some of this goes in order to sell sell sell! I’ve seen this all too often in a first-hand way. Boo.

Comment by Audrey
2008-09-21 16:11:59

I love this video and I was sujrprised to see it, because I recently made a short animation that has a similar plot. its also a whimsical take on the “green invasion” and we depicted ours by a green character who is kind of like this little guy.
you can watch it at:


Comment by Carolina
2008-12-06 13:56:26

Haha, loves it! :D


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