Read Student Writing
Back to Washington

Businesses Going Green

By Caity G.
Washington, Age 14

Many large companies have lately claimed their products are all natural or eco-friendly. How do you know which one is right? How do you know what product is green for the environment or green, to make more “green”? Many companies see being eco friendly as a change to increase business for their own selfish desires, not to increase to amount of eco-friendly products in the world.

“We can’t afford to have hobbies, this is not something we do to burnish our reputation or make us feel better it is about growing our company,” Gary Sheffer, the executive director of communications for GE says (Stark, 2). Many companies feel this way, it’s more about the business or the sales of your products rather then the want to increase the wellness of our environment. Most of the consumers of America would like to do their part in being green which explains why the sales of environmentally friendly products have more then doubled for the past couple years (Stark 2). But how do you know if your purchases are going to a company whose efforts are put out for the environments benefit or their own?

One instance is the well known corporation, Wal-Mart. Although it may be one of the most hated names in the GREEN MOVEMENT, they have launched an ambitious, long-term, plan to eventually power each and every one of it’s stores using 100% renewable energy sources, committing to make it’s operations more eco-friendly then ever. Not doubt ably finding the perks of selling earth friendly products, or have a green “label” to their name.

Furthermore a business that truly cares about the environment and their effect on it is SC Johnson Family Company. SC Johnson has gone on a mission to lessen the impact their products have on the environment. Through their use of the Green List Process the company has slashed 1.8 million pounds of volatile organic compounds from its Windex line of products. With another four million pounds of polyvinylidene chloride eliminated from their Saran Wrap they have caused a major drop in harmful chemicals that seep into landfills when they are disposed of (, 6). Had they been another company maybe they would’ve switched gears and made completely new products and formed a new inventory that is considered green. But SC Johnson looked back at the problems they had in their current products and fixed them, to help make a difference in the health of our planet.

As we all know, technology is such a huge part in the world today; it’s no surprise that people are upgrading to newer more efficient computers, printers, etc., so Hewlet-Packard is on a mission. Having staked their claim to greener ways, the company has gotten out in front of the Computer Disposal issue. Now owning and operating “e-waste” recycling plants that shred discarded, obsolete computer products into raw materials. These raw materials can then be recycled into the industrial food chain. Not only does HP take back computer equipment of their own brands, they are reaching out and accepting computer parts from all other businesses energy consumption a full 20% by the year 2010 (, 6). If Hp was a company that’d gotten on the train to a greener nation for the money or profits, they more than likely would not be out there and accepting other businesses products to be recycled at their expense.

Being environmentally friendly isn’t just about picking out a CFC-free hairspray, or using recyclable products to your convenience. It’s about changing your life-style and your regular actions to benefit your environment. Lot’s of the little things do help, but it’s about the bigger picture. So why should we as the consumers of America be buying products and retail from businesses who aren’t putting new items on the market that are “green”, when those profits are for their own benefits and not truly being sold for our earths success in becoming healthier.