The Unsuitablog

Exposing Ethical Hypocrites Everywhere!

And The Earth Day Winners Are…

Posted by keith on April 20th, 2009

Earth Day 2009

In case anyone wants to accuse me of laziness, for using the text from other peoples’ emails and for banging on about Earth Day again (not for no good reason, I hasten to add), I would like to say in my defence that I have to trawl through, read and delete all this damn stuff which comes squeezing its way through my internet pipe every day like lots of little green goo-soaked monsters.

So, given this effort, and how I still don’t seem to have got through to the inane fools sending me so much pseudo-green trivia and corporate PR-puff, here’s my Top 3 Crap Earth Day Emails, in approximate order of hypocrisy:

3. Coupon Sherpa : for uber-trivia – as though coupons are actually a major issue, the promotion of coupons that encourage people to buy more stuff, and iPhones, which are made by a near-slave workforce with virtually no environmental regulation

As Earth Day nears, Coupon Sherpa’s new iPhone application demonstrates how mobile coupons can reduce waste

[Fort Collins, CO] – Envision all the printed coupons you receive via newspapers, magazines and direct mail. Millions upon millions of Americans are bombarded by piles of paper coupons every week. Coupon Sherpa offers an alternative that is friendly to the environment, convenient for consumers and beneficial for retailers.

Introduced in early April, Coupon Sherpa is an iPhone application that allows shoppers to access in-store coupons on their iPhone or iPod Touch. Approved by Apple, Coupon Sherpa (www.couponsherpa.com) is available at the iPhone App Store. There are coupons to over 100 merchants on Coupon Sherpa including Finish Line, Zales Jewelers, Coldwater Creek and Jackson-Hewitt. The coupon categories include clothing, restaurants, pet supplies, sporting goods, home & garden and entertainment.

The debut of Coupon Sherpa is timely, especially since Earth Day will be celebrated on April 22. The waste created by paper coupons is substantial. According to a report by the nonprofit group ForestEthics, “mail advertisements create 51.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gases each year.” [Ed: Mail adverts do not equate to coupons, you moron!] That number is equivalent to the emissions produced by heating about 13 million houses or mowing more than 20 billion lawns.

“We know that paper coupons will not be completely replaced, but providing consumers and retailers with an outlet for mobile coupons is a positive start towards reducing the waste created by the mountains of mail we all receive,” said Luke Knowles, who created Coupon Sherpa with his brother Jesse Knowles. “In the future, an increasing amount of coupons will be presented on mobile devices, and that will be great for the environment.”

2. Kelly Ripa and Electrolux : for being an incredible mix of greenwash and hypocrisy. This is like punching someone in the face and then saying “sorry” in a really sarcastic way.

Kelly Ripa Launches Virtual Campaign To Benefit Global Green

How Green Is This! Talk show host and eco-Mom [Ed: Eco what?! More like Hyper-Consuming Mom], Kelly Ripa launched Electrolux’s newest eco-friendly washer & dryer in limited edition “Kelly Green” just in time for Earth Day and kicked off an online campaign to encourage people to renew their commitment to living green by planting a virtual flower for a friend. For every virtual flower planted at electroluxappliances.com , Electrolux will donate $1 to Global Green USA to support their healthy green schools initiatives across America.

Pass me the sick bag!

1. Lexus and Alicia Keys : for leaving me open-mouthed with astonishment at the sheer level of environmental hypocrisy, coupled with a brilliantly conceived splash of student brainwashing; all for less than the cost of a single car.

To kick off Earth Month, Lexus, the top-selling luxury automaker, and multi Grammy award-winning recording artist, Alicia Keys, will honor Los Angeles’ Thomas Jefferson High School with a $10,000 Grand Prize for its environmental achievements through the “Lexus Keys to Innovation” program. The “Lexus Keys to Innovation” program is a unique way for Lexus and Alicia Keys to recognize and reward students who have successfully implemented innovative environmental programs in their schools and communities.

Through “Lexus Keys to Innovation,” Lexus and Alicia Keys presented ten schools across the country with a $2,000 donation to support existing environmental programs. Thomas Jefferson High School’s “action plan” proposed that the $10,000 Grand Prize be used to create a native “green” space on campus for the students and faculty to utilize as an interactive educational tool.

The mission of the program is to better this South LA high school and community by bringing a much needed green space to the area which is currently dominated by [huge amounts of greenhouse gases generated by vehicles such as those produced by Lexus,] concrete, meat packing plants and factories. Additionally, the space will help to improve the air quality around the campus, and will allow students at Thomas Jefferson High School and nearby Harmony Elementary School to use the Green Space as an outdoor science lab.

The Environmental club at Thomas Jefferson High School will make this project a community effort by partnering with the local Harmony Elementary School to teach the younger members of their community the importance of taking an active role to better the environment.

During a school-wide assembly [and marketing opportunity] on April 2nd, Lexus’ vice president of marketing, Dave Nordstrom, will present the Grand Prize as well as commemorative, native Californian sapling to plant in the “green” space to Thomas Jefferson High School. As an added “thank you” to the students of Thomas Jefferson, Alicia Keys has videotaped a special message that will be played at the assembly, prior to Dave’s commemorative.

Now, will you all join me in sticking two fingers up at the winners – including our special celebrities. May they all be washed away when the tide turns…

7 Responses to “And The Earth Day Winners Are…”

  1. Viktor Says:

    I bang my head on the desk in frustration! Plant a virtual flower! WTF! Nothing says going green like buying large appliances.

    Sadly, it sounds like dear Kelly truly believes this to be a good thing. Poor girl.

  2. gswork Says:

    I wonder if the celebrities have any real insight into their role in this, their lifestyles and the contradictions in what they say and what they endorse.

    There is a kind of class of soft top car driving, multiple gadget owning young ‘green’ people that dimly emulate this, you can see them at protests and other events ‘consuming’ environmentalism almost as a fashion; a faux-rebellious stance whilst so very clearly wanting very much to have every advantage of a global industrial system such as global communications and availability of products and services*.

    This was true in the past with the comfortable young lefty rebelling against everything without experiencing anything whilst steadfastly en route to becoming a middle manager somewhere.

    It’s also true of course that only the abundance of a global industrial system can afford this class of people, whether millionaire celebs or simply the average western kid, the luxury of indulging in showy displays of questionable environmentalism or ‘rebellion’

    * i do sympathize. Most people will choose more over less whatever the context, whether its a wasteful rich kid or a subsistence tribesman. The level of environmental enlightenment and scientific understanding of it evident in the (genuine) environmental movement would not have happened without the industrial complex, the abundance of material wealth, vast governments and research universities and everything else that depends utterly upon it. There was no way of getting here without having gone there which makes going somewhere else that much more difficult.

  3. keith Says:

    Hi Gswork

    Thanks for the comment.

    Just address your last point, you could alternately say that without the industrial system we wouldn’t *need* to have the global knowledge and scientific data that is showing us what is going on. Ultimately the only sustainable future is one that has withdrawn from the inculcated “need” for synthetic wealth and all of its representations – that is a lot closer to the subsistance tribepeople who, incidentally, tend to be extremely aware of the environment that matters to then – it just happens to be a lot more local.

    Keith

  4. The Sietch Blog » And The Earth Day Winners Are… Says:

    [...] [from The Unsuitablog] [...]

  5. gswork Says:

    Hi Keith!

    You are a blogger that keeps close contact with the people who read, setting you above many others! I’ll bookmark this.

    In order to read your blog we both require for there to be a vast industrial-technological global complex, not just in the past as a foundation for the present but right now too.

    Still, i agree with your comment. ‘We’, humankind, only know about all this because of everything we’ve done, yet everything we’ve done is driven across 1000′s of years of mankind’s endeavors to control the environment in order to secure the future. You’re probably aware of some observers considering agriculture to be mankind’s “biggest mistake” in terms of individual health and global health.

    I find it difficult to imagine an alternative timeline without technology and the human self organization we’ve seen over history and all that brings, at least not with the humankind i am familiar with.

    Although it seems irrelevant right now, such a timeline would also doom earth’s offspring long term, in a few 100 million years the sun will become too hot (inevitably) for the earth to remain cool enough to support such complex life as us. Whether that matters is a judgment, whether we’ll get to the point of being able to make such long term plans is, of course, overshadowed by more pressing short terms concerns.

    Therefore i cannot envisage a humanity living again as tribespoeple except by cause of global catastrophe, in which case it just resets the clock by a few hundred or thousand years. The only option i see, which doesn’t involve catastrophe, is progression through the current system to the next, and as ever shown in history, the main drivers are the environment and mankind’s level of technology (which forms part of the environment)

    anyway, I’ve gone on a bit, hope it has something of interest for you (and others)

  6. keith Says:

    Thanks Gswork

    I’ll just address your first point, as it’s one I get very often: in a nutshell, if we didn’t have the problems we did, I wouldn’t have to do this. I am using the tools at my disposal to spread knowledge globally because the problem is global. It’s not by accident that technology and the vast infrastructure that underlies it has taken us to the brink of global collapse: if it takes technology to bring us to a simpler world (and I fully accept that at some point the technology will fail and I will have to use other means to keep working) then so be it. Derrick Jensen takes a similar tack: there is no reason you shouldn’t “the tools of the master” to bring down his works; it would be just desserts if they were used successfully.

    Cheers

    Keith

    P.S. Have a read of “A Matter Of Scale”, link is on the right hand side.

  7. gswork Says:

    I’m reading it, thanks.

    I wasn’t speaking of the “tools of the master” as being a bad thing, or something that will necessarily, or desirably, be lost in the future. I don’t see a future without the tech, unless by catastrophe which as i said simply resets the clock a bit (and would cost billions of lives an undoubtedly cause much damage in the process)

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