Okay so a while back when Clorox introduced its Green Works line, initially I was very excited that finally a popular chemical company has come forth with something better where our health is concerned.
However, after doing some research and writing two articles on the topic, which you can read about here and here, I came to the conclusion that Clorox Green Works is nothing more than a typical greenwashing initiative.
As I said in the past, I applaud them for trying to improve but you cannot mislead people and give them a false sense of security while doing so.
Well, not to let you think that I am picking on Clorox again, but I just came across one of their online ads that would make me lose sleep if I did not write about it here. Okay, just kidding, but seriously I have seen ads like this from the SC Johnson & Company, Mr. Clean, Febreeze, Glade and now Clorox, just to name a few and I find them utterly disgusting. There is one in particular that I will be writing about soon.
But for now here is the Clorox commercial, check it out (only 30 seconds) and read on.
First – don’t you love the subjects they are using… children! Why of course, because what do we want to protect more than anything in the world and what do we feel most vulnerable about – our kids! So naturally the ad is going to speak volumes to many moms out there who want to protect their kids and of course do not want to be a “bad” mom so they will be gravitating towards these products.
Secondly – the first half of the ad, literally, is all nice and fuzzy showing these cute kids in all these nice play scenarios.
Well finally the last half of the ad kicks in and the fuzzy, innocent bubble bursts as a cabinet is opened and inside of it are featured about half a dozen bottles of various Clorox chemicals (none of them Green Works by the way).
I mean honestly who in their right mind is going to use those chemicals themselves, never mind around kids and on stuff they touch. Okay, don’t answer that – only about half of North America. I get it.
We are so quickly influenced by these ads that most of us never stop and think about the bigger picture.
So this ad is basically telling me that I will stop my kids from getting a cold, flu or perhaps a stomach virus, while exposing them to risks of getting asthma, allergies and possible cancers in the future. Great, just great. I am not saying that colds and flus are okay, but removing one problem for an even bigger problem does not solve anything.
Then the best part comes in – the punch line of the Clorox ad:
When their world is cleaner, their lives are healthier.
Right, because health has nothing to do with how they eat and sleep, right. What a complete play on emotions.
For those of you who think it is natural and somehow our birth right for us and especially for kids to get sick, read Disease-Proof Your Child: Feeding Kids Right by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. Perhaps that can shed some light on why kids really get sick in the first place.
Do not get me wrong, I am not saying let’s not clean and live in bacteria and virus infested homes and wait for the next plague to hit. Not at all. But the truth is, is that most of our houses do not have even half of the germs that these commercials and companies would have you believe they do and what is more, houses can be cleaner than they ever need to be with simple soap, baking soda, vinegar, etc.
There is simply no need to bring in an army of chemicals, especially when kids are involved, that exposes them to other serious risk factors that are not small and curable like the common cold. We have to remember – our houses are in no way meant to be or compared to hospitals. Perhaps one can rightfully argue this in a daycare scenario, but that just leads me back to Dr.Furhman’s book. If kids were not getting sick in the first place, then our daycares would not need to be sterilized either.
Read any number of books, articles or studies, like: Child Health and the Environment (Medicine) by Donald T. Wigle, Exposure to Dust May Protect Against Allergies: Study, Dirt Pills May Help to Ease Kids’ Asthma and the list continues and you will see quickly where I am coming from.
It is not a coincidence that when children are actually exposed to germs they build stronger immune systems and have significantly lower asthma and allergy rates. Again, I urge you to read deeper into this, rather than panicking and thinking that they should be surrounded by dirt and illnesses or something.
I am not even going to get into the whole environmental side of these chemicals with the disposable wipes and such.
Bottom line, my observation is that commercials like these are made for no other reason but to make us feel scared and vulnerable and hence run out to the stores and spend our money on products that in the average home do more harm than good.
UPDATE July 11, 2011 – More truth about Clorox comes out: Some “green” detergents contain petrochemicals.