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January 17, 2008


Corey V.

Clorox has recently purchased Burt's Bees, as well.

From the New York Times: Can Burt’s Bees Turn Clorox Green?

And from the article...
"Many corporate leaders have sold their shareholders on green initiatives by pointing out that they help cut costs — an argument that is more persuasive now, while energy costs are sky high. But as companies rush to put out more and more “natural,” “organic” or “green” products, consumers and advocacy groups are increasingly questioning the meaning of these labels.

Clorox, for one, will face plenty of skepticism. Environmentalists have long said that bleach is harmful when drained into city sewers. The disinfectant has become a stand-in for jokes about chemicals and the environment, and a new round seems to have begun this fall when the company acquired Burt’s Bees.

“Who likes Burt’s Bees now that it’s been bought by Clorox?” Alison Stewart, a host on National Public Radio, said in November. “You know, just slap some bleach on your lips, it’ll all be good.”

Clorox executives have been fighting what they call “misinformation” about bleach for years. The company says that 95 to 98 percent of its bleach breaks into salt and water and that the remaining byproduct is safe for sewer systems. And Clorox sells many products that have nothing to do with bleach — including Brita water filters, Glad trash bags and Hidden Valley salad dressings."

G.B. Veerman

Corey, I agree. This post really isn't about the worthiness of the effort. I applaud Clorox on this initiative and welcome the Green Works product line to the show.

What I'm interested in is this: in this space, Clorox is sort of a victim of its own success. It is to bleach what Kleenex is to facial tissues, what Coke is to cola.

That said, according to my mother, Clorox means "effective" in her mind. So maybe they're on to something, at least as it pertains to non-green consumers.


I just don't trust Clorox trying to go green (not necessarily the company.) So I went a searchin...

a) They still test on animals and I'm happy to have turned my back on this company long ago.

b) The Sierra Club's been paid heavenly for this endorsement and will obviously use the money to create more awareness of it's own organization's efforts. Some good will come from that.

c) Kathalon preservative (or any similar biocide approved for domestic applications by FDA) See the MSDS [http://www.fuelcare.co.uk/kathonfp15msds.pdf ] from the maker of Kathalon biocide products, Rohm & Haas, and you'll see clear statement of the potential fhazards: Risk phrases are:"Irritating to skin. Risk of serious damage to eyes. May cause sensitization by skin contact. Harmful to aquatic organisms, may cause long­term adverse effects in the aquatic environment." The risk phrases are associated with the isothiazol component ,which is the active ingredient common to the product line.

Ok, I must concede. It is a small step in the right direction but it's not what we're asking for. The environmentally conscious people KNOW what they're looking at now and will look for true product integrity. Not just a "greenwashing" label with a pretty picture!

Our voice of consumer power (our money) is no longer up for grabs by the best marketer or slogan.
It's a grey area. Still.

rc helicopter

Impressive blog! -Arron

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    It Grows on Trees is about advertising and marketing green. Find policy and activist chat somewhere else. This is where we get down and dirty on brand maneuvers to communicate green in a noisy marketplace. The object is simple: make sustainability mainstream and grow business.

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