Best Green Companies for America’s Children?

Occasionally Working Mother Magazine presents a list of its “Best Green Companies for America’s Children.”

“America’s children can breathe easier with these innovators who are paving the way for a cleaner, greener world. Working Mother names companies who are following green paths, implementing recycling programs and reducing their carbon footprints.”

If  “following green paths,” is the optimal wording, then I might be OK with congratulating Clorox for its Greenworks line and Johnson & Johnson for investing in alternative energy. After all, it takes the big corporate companies making strides to affect real change, and they shoukld be commended.

However, let’s not all lay down the red carpet for the companies that still produce and market plenty of toxic cleaning and bath products! Other suspicious folks on this list: The Walt Disney Company, Walmart, Procter & Gamble, Nike…It sort of makes me wonder who wouldn’t qualify? Just about every national company is expected to create some sort fo sustainability report, whether it’s greenwashing or not. Maybe these companies should be getting an award for taking steps in the right direction, but they really shouldn’t be sharing the company of Annie’s Homegrown, Hanna Andersson, Linda Loudermilk, Stonyfield Farms, and Whole Foods.

Likewise, Whole Living’s “green issue,” shouldn’t be printing organic beauty stories where they mix Garnier and Almay with honest green brands like Tata Harper, Suki, and Vapour Organic Beauty. Considering it is meant to be a green-minded magazine, it really shouldn’t be crossing those product streams in any issue, but I get that magazines do need big corporate advertising to survive.

I’m sure the need for big corporate advertising is what drives much of this nonsense. And I totally understand the need to survive among the big fish. But let’s just be a bit more transparent with our words. Let’s categorize things where they belong: there’s “100% committed to sustainability and safety” and then there’s “we promise, we are trying to do better, but don’t lather yourself in our products with complete confidence just yet.”

Or maybe slightly more articulate labels than that…just a thought.

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