Katy at Non-Toxic Kids is asking for examples of Earth Day being greenwashed and I have a great one. My town is having a green expo later this week and one of the big sponsors is the cement plant. This cement plant is a high priority violator of the Clean Air Act! Cement plants are the 3rd biggest emitter of mercury and yet this plant says they are green. The ways they calm to be sustainable include:
- “Recycling” tires, which is really burning tires for fuel and is one of the reasons the local plant is a violator of the Clean Air Act.
- “Recycling” hazardous waste, which again is burning it for fuel. Thankfully the one in my town doesn’t burn hazardous. They wanted to but the citizens of my town fought back and won.
And other things that sound lovely until you see what these plants are really doing. They say they are reducing their impacts yet they keep fighting any regulations and are even fighting for looser regulations. The local plant hasn’t been in compliance with the Clean Air Act in years.
Last year they sponsored the same event and had a whole booth talking about how wonderful they are. Sadly, people buy this. Few even in my own town know the impact of that plant. I can’t tell you how many people have told me they thought it was just steam coming from the stack, it’s not! What’s really coming from the stack is mercury, ammonia, benzene, certain glycol ethers, chromium, diethanolamine, dioxin and dioxin-like compounds, ethylene glycol, lead, manganese, sulfuric acid, and zinc compounds.
Cancer, asthma and auto immune illnesses seem to be common place in my town (I didn’t think to save the site but I found our cancer rates are higher than the state average and the other comes from convos with medical professionals in the town and what I have seen). People are noticing but are unsure of the cause when it’s most likely right in front of us, sure there are likely several sources but when something is putting chemicals that can cause these illnesses it likely they are causing at least some of them. They play the jobs card often when it comes to regulations but what good are their jobs if we are all dead and dying?
I’ve been invited to be apart of this green expo but turned down the offer as I won’t be apart of this greenwashing. It’s sad that something that could be really good for my town is being used by a company to paint itself green. And don’t get me wrong, a lot of parts of it are great, several sponsors are good and one of the speakers they have is amazing. I just hope someday it will be totally green!
Have you seen greenwashing for Earth Day yet? Go check out the examples Katy at Non-Toxic Kids has shared.
Photo credits: Crystalline Radical