Last Updated on 31 May 2011

“What a scam!” I thought, while drying off with the hotel towel. I reached over and read the card the hotel left in the basket among the soaps and mini-shampoo bottles.

It explained how they care about our world and that by reusing my towel again and not changing the sheets everyday “together we can save the environment.”

Yes, I agree. I don’t need to have a fresh towel and new sheets everyday – I don’t at home.

But, please don’t start pretending that you “care” and “together we can make a difference.” (At least not about the environment).

For the cost of a little marketing – a few pennies per room… the cost of the ‘we care‘ card – the hotel gets their customers to lower the electric bill, water bill, and labor costs. Brilliant! The only green they have in mind is the profitability of the hotel.

If a hotel (or company) really wanted to be environmentally friendly they would also pay attention to the major environmental contributors including: energy efficient lighting, water conservation, heating and cooling systems, mass transit for employees and guests. As well as all the small things that add up… (e.g. use pitchers, pourers, and small bowls to serve milk, sugar, butter and jelly – instead of all that plastic packaging).

We’re in an interesting stage with environmental issues – it’s almost religious. If you live an eco-sinful life, you may go to hell (i.e. create hell on earth through global warming). Staying on the righteous green path, you will literally redeem the earth.

Like many trends, we’re at a point where considerable action needs to occur, but where consistency and regulation don’t yet exist. We are at that point like some years back when everyone was shocked that their bottled water wasn’t indeed pure and clean as they were led to believe?

Inconsistency in process and packaging and little regulation. (Now we know that the bottle itself is a problem!)

That’s where we seem to be with the environment. Trends drive exploitation. This is where creativity and problem solving is used for faux good, but I think it is more evil.

We marketers are the authors of these good and bad messages. We are the ones called upon by companies to hop on the bandwagon and squeeze as much chlorophyll into our message as possible.

I’ll close with this blurb I found while researching this post. The title of the article is:
Exploiting Environmental Hysteria for Fun & Profit
While the author is blatant in his “shrink the ‘carbon footprints’ of your customers to grow your bottom line” approach – not all of us will be as forthright in our approach.

For HVAC, green living is efficient living. Boost your sales by showing people how tune-ups, duct renovations, and higher efficiency products can reduce their carbon footprints (i.e. the CO2 that is generated from their energy use), improve comfort, and save money.

Remember, people buy on emotion. For those seeking a carbon-neutral lifestyle, few subjects are as emotional as the environment. When viewed through green-tinted glasses, the dreaded air conditioner replacement becomes an exciting environmental action.

Your thoughts? Reactions?