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The Green Revolution: Altruism or Good Business?

Individuals and businesses everywhere seem to be throwing the words “going green” around. Policy, economy, society and reality all demand that we use whatever renewable resources we can to turn our lifestyles around in order to live more environmentally responsibly. However, when companies built on the values of consumption and excess start to publicize their green efforts, one has to wonder if they are truly attempting to save the planet or if they are merely cashing in on the popularity of the Green Revolution.

 

 

Nascar is an American institution that values fast cars, fierce competition and hours of beer and food consumption while watching vehicles guzzles countless gallons of gas for sport. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to deduce that this is not a so-called “green” industry. However, recently the company has proclaimed that it will be greening its practices by collecting used fuel, oil filters, fluorescent light bulbs, metal shavings, aluminum and steel for recycling. Some speedways have installed solar panels while others are planting mature trees after every race or using sheep to mow their infield lawns. Additionally, Nascar has made Sunoco Green E 15 ethanol its official fuel in an attempt to assuage outrage over how much fuel its cars burn.

Nascar has been accused of “greenwashing” all of its eco-unfriendly practices. Some argue that these “green initiatives” are just a cheap media stunt to reach more consumers and gloss over the fact that the sport is inherently dirty. The sport cannot be cleaned up because it’s very existence results in the depletion of natural resources and carbon emissions.

On the other hand, one could argue that something is better than nothing. The fact that the sport is even attempting to clean up its act should be applauded as there is no mandate requiring it to do so. Regardless of motivation, the outcome is the same. While more sponsors may want to associate with the sport because of its new green identity or not, it is not as if Nscar consumers were not being marketed to in the first place. Additionally, Nascar typically thrives in small towns and communities where citizens are not as educated about environmental responsibility as in larger, urban areas. Bringing awareness to where it may not have ever existed is never a bad thing.

At Bamboo and Tikis, we love hearing responses from our readers! What do you think? Are companies like Nascar simply jumping on the green bandwagon for selfish marketing reasons? Are they really cleaning up their business for altruistic reasons as claimed? Does it matter one way or the other if the end result is the same? Leave your comment below!

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