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Opinion ~ Green tools enable green results, they don't guarantee them — ideas ≠ reality.

As a green designer, I see the quality of "green" — some products that say they are green but are not very green at all. Recently, it seems that simple misuse of green products is another green risk? Can we buy green products and use them in a wasteful manner? Is green mindfulness superior to a green product — seems we need both sides of the equation to achieve healthy green balance. How do we not waste precious green spending?

The term "Greenwash" is a naturally faded and comfortable term — but how can we describe a culture that fails to leverage modern green tools? Is it buy and forget? Is this a modern reoccurring theme in consumerism? Does how we expend Joules define how really green we are versus how much green we spend on "green and forget"? Green seems more culture than just green tools.

A recent study noted increases in vehicle efficiency enabled further driving ranges, not energy savings — about 20% of consumers can improve on their green behaviour. Can gamification of driving reward the balance that can help tip the scales against these human natures? When we combine green products and green mindfulness can we create a greener consumer culture? The folks with the best practical tools win!

Catherine McKenna recently announced $31,500,000 in "green spending" on cities in Canada. It will be interesting to see how this money is spent. Spending on green cities is smart, but how smart will our procurement be? What measurable green value will Canada see from these "green" investments? This announcement also has me curious as to how Ottawa's new green pie will be eaten by the new green zombies. Is this spending the same zombie feeding call? Can we keep it simple with some baby steps to get more green for the green? Will green zombies just end up feasting on new stylish eco budgets? Time will reveal if "real change" has some "real challenges" — how the rubber hits the road with private involvement. Zombies!

A recent study of "green" internet shopping revealed that it's less green than driving to the store. At first blush, the comfy marketing of "green" internet shopping seemed to make total sense — everything seemed to add up nicely. The reality remains, that if we apply full cost analysis we find that the intended results do not necessarily match the intended goals. Seems "green internet shopping" is greenwash? The science of reality eventually catches up to the marketing dreams — intelligent analysis is better at delivering the facts, sorry greenwash.

When it comes to "green math", the greenest math is always the stuff that works best, the first time. If it takes extra time to decide a winner, invest the time to do it right your first time. When that green math is complete, checked and approved, make sure your consumer knows* how to prove you correct*. Do the green math figures match the "green" results?


* — the best design is invisible and doesn't need any help.