Sunday, May 3, 2009

Walmart Demonstrates Green Washing With A Carpet Cleaner

Walmart recently put out a commercial that introduces some seriously flawed logic.

The ad starts out okay. They talk about protecting the Earth and show us a cute little Bissell carpet cleaner that's made from 50% recycled plastic.

Okay, I'm on board.

But then they try to convince us to buy said carpet cleaners by saying: "If every Walmart customer—all 200 million of us—bought one, it would be like recycling 2 million bags of trash. Now that is some serious cleaning power"

When I heard first heard that, I wanted to pinch my arm to be sure I was awake. I asked myself, "Did they seriously just say that? Seriously?"

Walmart is trying to convince people that buying 200 million new carpet cleaners made of 50% recycled plastic (a.k.a. 50% virgin plastic) is good for the environment?!?! You've got to be kidding me!

You know what would be better for the environment? Renting a carpet cleaner or borrowing one from a neighbor, or, dare I say it, buying one used.

But I guess I don't expect Walmart to share these types of ideas with people.

I do expect, however, that they don't run around telling people who don't need or want a carpet cleaner that the best thing they could do for the environment is to buy one.

I mean, seriously! That's just wrong.


22 comments:

avocoddler said...

Nothing about energy consumption or the cleaning solution used in it..

The environmental impact of a carpet cleaner has precious little to do with the material used to create it.

LifeLessPlastic said...

It's definitely not just the material. Along with the energy used to run them and the cleaning solution, it's also the pollution emitted and energy used to produce all 200 million of the carpet cleaners. It's not good.

Holly said...

More than ever it seems like people have to be aware of these half-hearted attempts to make eco-friendly (or at least friendlier) products. I went to buy a bamboo dish rack the other day and every single one was wrapped in plastic. They just don't get it!

Serina said...

How about just avoiding carpet in the first place? Or using the basic vacuum that works just fine that you already use, and avoiding either having more stuff or throwing away what currently works. Then there's always the concept of area rugs that can actually be hung outside and air cleaned with a hose, sunshine and air. Amazingly, people owned carpets 100 years ago with zero plastic carpet gadgets, and somehow still survived.

Shear Delight said...

I found the Target "New Day" ads to be similarly annoying.

But I suppose their success is based on people purchasing things they don't really need...

Tom Green said...

That's why I only shop at Meijier - they would never make such a crazy claim.

Heather said...

I've also heard that cleaning your carpet with an at home cleaner actually ruins your carpet, which obviously isn't good for the environment either. If you insist on washing your carpet, leave it to the professionals.

kate said...

I agree with Serina, avoid carpet in the first place, it's full of VOCs. And then you don't need a carpet cleaner! and if you're stuck with a small bit of wall-to-wall like I am, rent a cleaner if you really need one. -kate

Kevin said...

This is why I don't watch TV, just stream stuff over the internet.

Thanks for letting us know about this!

Anonymous said...

I always laugh when I see the Green Works Natural Wipes. I don't care how biodegradable they are. You still buy a giant plastic container so that you can use a bunch of wipes once. I don't get it.

Sandy said...

Even more cringeworthy to me is that 2/3 of the country shops at Wal-Mart.

Ivy said...

I agree. You're so smart.
Borrowing from neighbors or friends doesn't just help the environment with less waste but, it promotes a better sense of community which is also lacking these days. I borrow a carpet cleaner from a friend and it works out great.

Anonymous said...

lifelessplastic - I saw this same commercial the other day and made the SAME comment you did to my boyfriend!! I couldn't believe that advertising execs really thought that this was a "green" idea!!

Juli said...

I wonder what would happen if all 200 million Walmart shoppers threw out their old carpet cleaners the day they bought the new "earth friendly" Bissell.

Stonky said...

The problem is that the green movement is both a social movement as well as a marketing strategy. This was a failed attempt at joining the two. But what do you expect? All Walmart cares about is making money. Do they actually care about the environment? Probably not.

alicesworld said...

I cannot believe that commercial! It's ridiculous. Talk about irresponsibility. But what do you expect from a monster like Wal-Mart.....

Nikki J. said...

It’s laughable to hear Wal-Mart and “environmental” in the same sentence. Ellis Jones’ “Better World Shopping Guide” lists them as #3 on the top 10 worst companies on the planet based on their overall social and environmental records.

http://www.betterworldshopper.com/worst.html

BP said...

You smashed that nail right on the head!! Consumers be smart and learn to read between the lines. Always think about, What is the sellers goal, who profits and how do they profit?
It is always greener to not buy, or borrow, or rent then to purchase anything new, no matter how much recycled anything is in it. BP

Pinky said...

It's amazing how little sense advertising can make. Yet somehow it still works on people who don't take a second to consider what they've just been told.

Going Crunchy said...

Beware - they are also about to start putting "green" ratings on Wal-Mart products. Seriously. Wal-Mart is creating green ratings.

That entire sentence just doesn't jive in my head.

Sandy said...

This post is really useful and also informative to know the benefits of green washing with a carpet cleaners. I also expect this type of services from carpet cleaning Sydney.

Raleigh carpet cleaning said...

This is a great idea. I watched the whole video and I think we all should try this. Thank you for posting this in your blog.