How to Fight Greenwashing: Ignore It by ProQuest


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         How to Fight Greenwashing: Ignore It
         By John D. Wagner, CGR

                  he Ritz-Carlton chain                         rooms have to do with green-          5. Reduces fuel consumption             are solid programs. Lumber is

           T      counts among its prop-
                  erties many hotels that
                                                                    Well, there’s a fair amount of
                                                                                                         (carbon footprint) during the
                                                                                                         manufacture, delivery, instal-
                                                                                                                                              inherently green (renewable,
                                                                                                                                              recyclable), and it corresponds
         most of us couldn’t afford with-                       confusion about green building.          lation and use.                      with green tenet No. 2 and No.
         out the help of the PowerBall                          But the vast majority of it is cre-       So, whether a product is            4 from above.
         Lottery. So you’d think they                           ated by product claims that are       labeled or not, let’s put this “Ritz-        You see, you don’t even have
         would spare no expense when                            not based in commonsense prin-        Carlton” approach to the test.          to mess with greenwashing if
         training their workers, right?                         ciples about green building. And          Trusses. Are they green?            you develop the critical judg-
         After all, when you spend $500                         these claims, along with a prolif-    Yes, on two or three counts.            ment and knowledge of basic
         on a luxury room, it better                            eration of third-party labels —       They are made with secondary-           green principles. When you
         have more than just nice f luffy                                                                                                     do that, you’ll find that green
         towels. It better have some very                                                                                                     building is really a rather old-
         helpful staff. And how does                                              You don’t even have to mess with                            fashioned approach to building,
         Ritz-Carlton train its staff ?                                                                                                       something you’ve very likely
             They start by giving them                                               greenwashing if you develop                              been doing all along. Green
         a principle by which all actions                                        critical judgment and knowledge of                           building produces tight, well-
         should be judged. It goes like                                                                                                       vented, low-maintenance struc-
         this: “We are ladies and gentle-                                               basic green principles.                               tures that don’t use lots of fuel
         men serving ladies and gentle-                                                                                                       to heat and cool themselves,
         men.” When faced with a service                                                                                                      and uses non-toxic products and
         decision, the staff can refer to                       many of them admirable efforts        demand lumber; the material is          materials that don’t permanently
                       that principle and                       — make green building far more        recyclable; and certain trusses         deplete their sources when har-
                       ask, “Is what I am                       co
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