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Watch out, your green creds are coming under attack

April 16, 2008

It seems we are now at a  very interesting moment in the environmental movement meets green marketing, trend.

The cynics and skeptics are coming out of the woodwork and are ready to bash anyone who isn’t thinking this thing through properly and merely trying to “Greenwash”.

This isn’t just coming from the expected sources.

This is from Core 77, yesterday.

“At first glance, Feel More Human seems to have everything for the conscious consumer with a modern design sense. The online store has an eco-friendly home and lifestyle section, with tables from Scrapile, sofas from Dutch designer Bj√∂rn Mulder, and even a Buddha cat perch made from renewable bamboo plywood. There is a content section featuring interviews with inspiring eco-entrepreneurs, a classifieds area where visitors can buy or sell their pre-owned modern design goods, and the whole operation is powered by 100% wind energy.

Yet scratch beneath the surface and you’ll find that even those with the greenest of intentions have a hard time making the most environmentally sound choices. Mixed in with all of the bamboo, reclaimed wood, and toxin free fabrics are not-so eco foams, lacquers, plywoods, and plastics, like the NotNeutral Melamine Snack Set for kids. How did a kid’s dinnerware with melamine, a resin manufactured by mixing urea with formaldehyde, get onto a site devoted to sustainable lifestyles? Or chrome, a material known for emitting toxic elements into the air, land, and sea, which can be found in several items in the store, such as the Tokyo Shelving Unit or the Valis Chair. Jill Stalowicz, the company’s founder, says, “smart design goes beyond aesthetics now, people are questioning how products are constructed.”

The lesson here is that the practice of green is harder than the promise, and that Feel More Human might want to take a look at how all of its products are actually made.

Posted by Ed Cotton

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