Fake certification program results in confusion and misrepresentation
This story is exclusive to TheGreenWashingBlog.com
Four decades ago, around the time of the first Earth Day, a person wouldn’t think twice about tossing a styrofoam cup in the trash after a single gulp of water. Most people wouldn’t have a notion what they should even think twice about. After all, there’s plenty where that came from.
These days most people are at least vaguely aware that with the casual toss of a styrofoam cup goes an enormous amount of resources. Resources suddenly turned into unyielding waste. Many might still toss the cup, but people are generally smarter about “being green,” for lack of a better phrase, than they were forty years ago.
That’s what makes the National Restaurant Association’s new “Greener Restaurants” program so insidious.
TheGreenWashingBlog has acquired insider information and evidence that show how the National Restaurant Association (NRA) plays on (and hides behind) that increased consumer awareness – to the detriment of both customer and business owner. We will reveal over the next several days how the NRA offers to its members what is essentially a bogus green restaurant certification program. Though the NRA calls it a “recognition” program to deflect the responsibility and integrity of actual certification, we will show how any such distinction is the same as that between green and greenwash.
With no benchmarks or verifiable standards this is a program that allows both unscrupulous and well-meaning restaurant owners to claim adherence to sustainability practices in their business, and to display that claim to the public. The scheme muddies the waters between what is green and what is greenwash, leaving the diner hoping to patronize a verified sustainably-run establishment out in the cold. It’s hit or miss at best because all it really takes to be endorsed by the National Restaurant Association as a “greener restaurant” is green. Money. Cold, hard cash.
And it all starts with exactly the right message…
Pushing the right emotional buttons
If you’re concerned about sustainability issues and making greener choices, you’ll probably appreciate the following video. It says all the right things and makes all the right points.
If you’re a little on the fence over whether all the “green” stuff is just a fad or worth the time (and money), the video might convince you otherwise.
It’s a pretty slick video. It’s where it ultimately leads that is the problem, and is where the journey begins. But like that styrofoam cup (which we will visit again later in this story), the spirit of the message the video conveys will soon be tossed aside and turned against itself in a cynical attempt to turn green into greenwash.
Tomorrow we’ll dig into how the program works.