is the attempt of a company to sell their products and/or services as “green” or “sustainable” when they truly are not. In the past few years, as the green movement has made its way to the forefront of consumer decision-making, companies have found clever ways to sell their products off as “green” without having actually changed their products at all, or making minor changes that aren’t as green as their marketing campaigns lead on.
One good example of this is Mango Energy’s desktop wind turbines. These mini desktop toys serve no actual purpose, and are being hailed by the company as a tribute to alternative energy. They feature small solar panels that turn the desktop wind turbine’s blades.
So let’s break this product down shall we? First of all, you have the choice of either a metal or plastic desktop wind turbine
, which means that either oil had to be pumped to make the plastic, or mining operations were conducted to recover the metal. Both of these options aren’t in the least bit green and sustainable (not to say they do not serve their vital pruposes). Then you have the components making up the miniature solar panel on the mini turbine… again, fossil fuel-derived and mined materials. Plus, it seems counterproductive to need to generate energy to turn a wind turbine’s blades.
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Of course, the desktop wind turbines could be made of 100 percent recycled materials, but unfortunately they are not. In fact, as Mango Energy boasts thousands of these desktop wind turbines
having been sold, the sad reality is that the majority of them are produced… where else? In China. It seems like that’s where most useless plastic junk being pawned off to consumers is coming from these days.
The bottom line is this: While oil and mining operations certainly do serve a vital purpose in our world, I’d like to think that at this day-in-age the precious resources that are carefully extracted from the ground—with devastating consequences at times—would be utilized for far better purposes than a greenwashed product like a Chinese-made plastic wind turbine that is somehow supposed to pay tribute to renewable energy. Don’t be fooled people, especially you renewable energy executives out there who may want one for your desk! How do we solve the world’s energy problem? We could start by using our resources a little more wisely, and not try to trick the general public just to turn a profit.