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I knew Abe Lincoln was smart, but I had no idea he was aware of the perils of the Internet before Al Gore invented it.

I can tolerate almost everything, but hypocrisy gets my goat.  Maybe I am just getting old and cranky, but there is no need for dishonesty and hypocrisy among stationery industry leaders.    When vendors play the “green” card (i.e. the eco-friendly tagline), my ears perk up.    Despite repeated efforts of the organizers of the National Stationery Show to cut down on “greenwash” (i.e. false or misleading claims about the environmental benefits of products), mindless marketers – who haven’t contemplated their navel in quite some time – continue to wax poetic about about the eco-benefits of their product.

Of course, the only people who believe these ridiculous assertions are the people that watch “reality” TV  or think that CNN’s Wolf Blitzer is more intelligent than his teleprompter.  What upsets me even more is the arrogant patronizing attitude of “green” evangelists.

Yesterday, I received this email from an unnamed Vendor:

XYZ Vendor “uses e-invoicing not only to give our customers instant knowledge of their orders, but also to save time, money and promote our notion that even a small business can make a large impact on protecting the environment.”

Now I can buy the part where e-invoicing saves XYZ vendor “time” and “money” but please save the paternalistic dribble  for your annual “A sucker is born every minute” party.   There is an overwhelming amount evidence on the disingenuous “green” claims, corrupt eco-rating services and general over-hyped claims of the “green” benefits of one product or another.

I have written many times about these exaggerated claims and the very valuable lessons learned by attending the National Stationery Show seminars on the environment.  If industry  leaders – who should know better – continue to parrot these fradulent taglines, why should we expect a better educated consumer?  Walt Whitman (I was just joking Mark!) sums it up quite well:

Wake up industry leaders and quit spreading greenwash. We need educated consumers, not sheep!

Richard May
Founding Member of the Stationers Guild

Tags: green, greenwash, internet, mark twain, National Stationery Show, nss, the environment

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