Light green ? Dark green ?

I attempted Christie Lovat’s presentation on ecologically managed golf courses.

As it was described in previous comments, Ms Lovat did demonstrate that golf courses owners can benefit from more ecological management.

The presentation reminds me a discussion we had in class about the role of humankind on the environment. Some of us agreed with the assumption that every action of a human will have an impact on the environment. We considered that every initiative taken to reduce this possible impact would be a good thing.

To confer ecological practices to golf courses is certainly an interesting project. However, those golf courses remain an important piece of land –where plants and trees are removed- devoted to a single sport. I think we should be careful about this “green labeling” tendency. Let’s look at those new carbon neutral events and conferences, where emissions of GHGs are compensate by funding a green project elsewhere in the world. The organization Planetair, for instance, proposes to fund projects for windmill development or electricity by biomass in India. I am afraid these initiatives will become a method to reduce our guilt without forcing us to make real efforts to change our lifestyles.

I am wondering where society will set the boundaries of greenwashing. Is every action taken to reduce our ecological footprint good? Can anything become green? If even golf courses can have a green label, then a lot of other things can!

One Response to “Light green ? Dark green ?”

  1. shorty says:

    It is important to judge for ourselves what is green and what isn’t. Just because it has a label on it, doesn’t mean its 100% environmetal friendly. However I do consider that there is merit in attempts to reduce our environmental footprint. A policy to build a windmill in certain areas to harness natural wind energy is better than a policy of continuing to deplete fossil fuels. Also you might argue that many of our attempts to be more environmentally concious involve a certain amount of guilt. We are now more currently aware that our actions have a considerable impact on the environment; however we also know that we currently have alternatives to reduce this impact, that we should be using when opportunity costs are feasible.

    In regards to “greenwashing” I think the more we become habituated to the policy that greener is better, the more we will be able understand how these policies do in fact contribute to a more environmentally friendly society. This might create a standard of market greening. Once the market has run out of new ways to green its products they’ll search for the next gimmick to entice the consumer.

    Whether every action reducing our ecological footprint is good is complicated to assess. What may benefit one sector of the environment may have negative impacts on other sectors. For lack of a better example, if you consider a solar panel, it is a natural form of energy use, however you still have to find land space to build these solar panels in the first place which may alter the habitat they are built on. This may also contribute to the beleif that not everything can be made perfectly green.