Monday, December 24, 2007

FEATURE - Consumption Junction:
"GREEN as a Study in Language Gone Bad"

Here’s a Quiz. What does this symbol mean?

1. Made of recycled materials?
2. It can be recycled?
3. Whatever it is affixed to is somehow green?

Answer: All of the above.

It’s nearly meaningless.

The Chasing Arrows is a currently misunderstood green symbol because of its oft-bastardized usage. Today, it is simultaneously used and understood to mean both Recycled and Recyclable. The shape is well known, but the literal meaning is lost.

I saw a delivery truck the other day promoting that it was fueled by BioDiesel. It used the Chasing Arrows around the world BioDiesel.

This is partially the result of lack of logo control, but it is also the result of greenwashing.

I make the claim that the very word “green” has lost its meaning too. Once all products are “green” no products are “green.”

If you have other examples of green language gone bad, email them to me I collect them.

*Consumption Junction is a feature column focusing on culture, advertising and the ethical consumer written by John Rooks. John is the President of DWELL Creative, a progressive advertising and marketing agency voted one the Top 25 agencies by LOHAS Journal.

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