Wednesday, November 25, 2009

California Greening's 2009 Un-Green Product Award

California Greening's first Un-Green Product Award goes to Fiji Water. We could think of no single product that more exemplifies the total disregard that many major corporations have of the welfare of this planet and all of the species on it. Besides all of the problems that we find with this product, Roll International follows the typical greenwashing practice of trying to brand their product as actually being Green.


After sorting through a lot of products, here are the reasons we chose Fiji Water:

First, some of the problems belong to the bottled water industry in general.
  • The marketing of water in small bottles is just part of a wider movement to privatize scarce natural resources.  We know that water will be the oil of the 21st Century and having its production and distribution in private hand subject to the profit motive is an exploitation of those who will not be able to afford the price... and that is most of the population of the earth.
  • We object to the general practice of using petroleum derived plastic bottles designed for a throw away economy.  It is a truly wasteful use of the material and provide a large portion of the input to the Pacific Gyre Plastic Trash Island Island.  At this, they are no better nor worse than their competitors, but that is still bad. 
  • Use of plastic bottles seems to be a driver for the market of little blue pills.  I will hold this as an un-green characteristic of Fiji Water and all of it's competitors until they produce lab analysis that shows their bottles have no bisphenyl-A.

And then there are those characteristics which are unique to Fiji Water.
  • Fiji Water has to be shipped from Fiji to the United State for distribution.  Such shipping uses petroleum products, un-necessarily depleting the a resource that we know to be both in decline and increasingly expensive.  Those who talk of reducing our dependence on foreign oil will surely recognize this problem as being real. 
  • While Fiji Water claims to be working toward a Carbon Neutral position through the purchase of rip-offsets, their accounting makes no mention of transportation costs, only production and packaging costs.  That is part of the greenwash campaign to make them look green, but it makes us green at the gills. 
  • The import of any water takes jobs away from American workers.  It seems so un-necessary since Roll International controls an entire aquifer in California's San Joaquin Valley.   American workers could process Roll's American water.  That should make both the unions and the Republicans happy.
  • The idea that special water from Fiji is truly better than anything else on this earth, worth all of the troubles outlined above, only appeals to the snooty pseudo-sophisticate of exceedingly fine taste.  Let them try New Orleans tap water and I bet they can't tell the difference.  This is advertising driven consumerism at its worst.
We call for a national boycott of Fiji Water.  I know that no true Green would drink the stuff, but we need to bring the rest of the country to the same conclusion.  Spread the word.  It is easy.  If you find a store that sells Fiji Water, tell them you are not coming back until it disappears from their shelves.  Write a letter to your local paper and tell them how American water is not good enough for some elitists.  Now is time to get these wasteful, ecology damaging products off the market.


    2 comments:

    Cameron said...

    I think you've confused "astroturf" with "greenwash" here. Astroturf is a fake grassroots movement created by a public relations firm. Greenwash is a marketing effort to create an undeserved reputation for environmental responsibility.

    Wes said...

    You're right, Cameron. It is probably a result of the fact I was contemplating writing about Resnick's role in the Astroturf "Friends of the Delta." This is what the real Restore the Delta, had to say about their so-called "Friends". ""Residents and advocates of the Delta region have a right to know when they're being hoodwinked."