Clever Earth Choice TV ad

Technology certainly has its good and bad points. In some instances it’s contributed to environmental degradation and in others it is seeking to repair that damage and raise awareness.

On the awareness side of things, I viewed a very clever ad today that makesgreat use of computer generated special effects. While it’s for a range of commercial products with a little bit “iffy” enviro street-cred in terms of some ingredients in my opinion, I think the ad will have an impact on many people and perhaps get them thinking about what we send down our drains.

Some cleaning chemicals aren’t filtered out in stormwater or sewage treatment facilities and wind up contaminating aquatic environments. One that springs to mind istriclosan, a chemical in many household cleaners. Triclosan can react with chlorine in drinking water and form chloroform, a known carcinogen. When it reacts with light, it can form dioxins. It’s also been shown to cause deformities in frogs.

Past the cleaning chemicals, we pour all sorts of other stuff down the drain without thinking of the consequences. A single drop of motor oil can pollute 2litres (just over 2 quarts) of water.

Anyway, kudos to the folks at Earth Choice for ponying up the cash for such a clever(if a little disturbing) ad and I shouldn’t forget to give the ad agency whocreated it a mention – Australian firm CHE. It’s nice to see advertising not screaming “buy me!”, but having a broader messageas the focus that many of us can understand.

The aquatic animals featured in the ad were originally created as rubber models,then weeks were spent bringing the models to life through computer generatedmanipulation. The duck was a “stunt duck” accompanied by his trainer -I guess that aspect will raise some eyebrows; but the company assures us itwasn’t mistreated.

I thought Earth Choice products were only available in Australia, but it appears theirgreen cleaners are in the USA as well. You might be able to find their range inyour supermarket. I’ve used their liquid laundry detergent in the past and it’squite good – without the hefty price tag of some comparable products.

However, the laundry detergent isn’t the greenest product around. An old bottle I’m looking at now, from around two years ago, lists Sodium Laureth Sulfate as an ingredient and a few other questionable chemicals often found in laundry detergent. I’m told that Sodium Laureth Sulfate is still in the product.

Maybe the company might be better off pouring cash into product development rather than expensive ads in the future, but according to the Nature Organics site (makers of Earth Choice):

“With every item we create, we look to optimise the balance between using natural based (or plant derived) ingredients with any chemical components still deemed necessary for products to work effectively ~ and in turn, to progressively increase and improve the natural content ratio as quickly as newfound knowledge and technologies permit.”

Aswith anything, when you’re looking at green laundry and household cleaning products, don’t take advertising at face value. Check the label and then hit the Internet to translate all those complex chemical names to determine what’sin the product in terms of its possible health and environmental impact. Sometimes you’ll be able to find available and affordable green products to suit your circumstances, sometimes it will be a case of choosing the lesser of the evils and a brand that has a commitment to ongoing improvement.

If you’re looking for more tips on earth friendly cleaning and want to be sureof what’s in what you are using, try GLT’s cleaning category – some of the more popular articles focus on using common products in green cleaning, such as baking soda,lemonjuice, and vinegar.Also check out the super simple and incredibly cheap allpurpose green cleaner recipe!


Avoiding greenwashing