Eco-certification programs are becoming like underwear…

Eco-certification programs have become kind of like underwear – rather ubiquitous, a variety of colors and quality,  changed daily, or maybe weekly, and some that ride up the…

These programs are also kind of like blogs of which there are apparently 80,000 new ones a day. Like blogs, underwear serves decent functions – but like some kinds of underwear damaging if worn too often: think briefs; wear them too often fellows and your ability to spawn is in jeopardy…

In recent years there has been an explosion of environmental certification and “eco-labeling” programs. Things like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) that apparently certifies wood from sustainable and environmentally and socially responsible logging operations,  Leadership in Environmental Design (LEED) green building standards, Fair trade products (e.g. coffee, cotton, etc.), dolphin-friendly tuna, and so on.

These programs are supposed give power back to consumers so as to make responsible purchasing choices (i.e. “vote through the marketplace” and “vote through your wallet”) – and to promote environmental responsibility within various industries and specific companies. So, for example, buying FSC-certified wood is supposed to make a consumer feel good that they are supporting environmentally and socially responsible business practices. Some lumber stores sell only FSC-certified wood, putting themselves in the upper echelon of “green businesses”.

Many of these programs are voluntary for companies to pursue and maintain certification. The organizations handing out certifications are apparently unbiased, objective, and free from outside influence.

But, yet, like your favorite underwear they get worn out, frayed, and sometimes just down right soiled. And sometimes, those outside influences suggest maybe you should just throw those away now…. or when the wash is done, those favorite underwear have simply not returned – and we have to go out and get a new pair. You know, organic cotton, fairly trade, fairly made ones that don’t ride up the…

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