OK, before I saw this question, I had absolutely no idea what
"greenwashing" was. I mean, not a
clue. So Black sent me two good
"overview" articles (American Scientific and UL)
that helped me understand it's when a company makes an unsubstantiated claim to
try and convince us that its products are environmentally "friendly" when
they're not. Obviously, they're taking
advantage of the fact most of us want to do whatever we can to help protect the
environment and support businesses that do (although sometimes it's difficult
if the products are significantly more expensive).|
I'll admit, though, that once I began reading various claims about sustainability and "supposed" benefits, it became very confusing. And, in general, the topic gives me a headache, which is why I had to laugh when Black sent me a statement issued by Advil about its sustainability efforts.
|I first became aware of "greenwashing" years ago when I
stayed at a hotel that asked me to help "save the planet" by not having the
sheets changed daily and reusing my towels instead of tossing them on the floor
after a single use. Maybe I am cynical,
but my initial reaction was they wanted me to help them "save money" since they
would have less laundry to do. And, as I
looked around my room and the hotel, I saw numerous ways they could be "green" –
but were not, thereby supporting my initial impression. (Curious how consumers react to hotels that greenwash?)|
Nowadays, many companies are rebranding themselves as well as renaming and repackaging products to demonstrate their "commitment" to the environment. But, just because they make a claim does not make it so. However, determining who is green versus "greenwashing" can be done, it just takes a little time and effort.
Quick! Define literacy (without Google or Siri's help). Ok, finished? We bet that you may have stopped at the ability to read and write. Which, technically, isn't wrong. It just isn't completely right, either. Which is what Red found out when she discovered, much to her surprise, that it includes such critical areas as financial, digital, and health literacy.
Red even admitted to Black that she didn't understand all those terms, although she had another concern … was Black going to use her as a poster child for her lack of literacy skills in this month's column, "RED & BLACK … A Blueprint For Life?!"
P.S. – This month's column is in honor of September being Adult & Family Literacy Month.
Want to read other columns? Here's a list.
People have told us they're using our sisterly banter to start conversations with others (family, friends, and even in classrooms), so Black created "Conversation Starters".
|When I first heard the term "digital literacy," I wasn't exactly sure what it meant,
but I'll admit that I feel like
a dinosaur when it comes to technology, and usually turn to my daughters
for help. I don't know if it's just generational, but I'm
intimidated by my computer, and although I can do the basics, any time things
go "wrong" I default into panic mode, followed by feeling lost and frustrated. And the thought of buying a new computer? Well, it gives me a headache – not only the
cost but especially learning how to use it. And if I lose internet service, I feel disconnected from the world. (I guess that can sometimes be a good thing.)|
Then there's my cell phone, and I admit that smartphones often make me feel stupid. I remember when phones were landlines, and cordless was a big deal. Now I'm walking around with a small computer that also makes phone calls and takes photos. I've learned how to text, load some simple apps, and even how to set the alarm clock, but that's about it.
|I know us "older" people think younger people are
technology-savvy, but many are merely technology-dependent, which is very different. Technology is much more than access and setup. Being able to use computers, smartphones, and
the internet covers a wide range of "basics" (such as emails and other
communication tools, web browsers, and search engines), and there are specific
computer skills that improve our productivity (such as word processing and spreadsheets). Now, you often need web conferencing skills
(like Zoom or other audio
and video applications) just to interview for a job.
But, that is only the beginning. Since we live in a digital world, we need the skills to find and analyze information, and also make sure it is accurate and credible. (What is that old adage, "Garbage in – garbage out"?) However, it is not only finding the right information, it is then knowing what to do with it. Including what and how to share.
THE CONVERSATION STARTERS
- How would you describe digital literacy? What skills do you think are necessary to manage daily life? To be successful in the workplace?
- Why does using technology correctly seem so daunting?
- What do you think is the best way to learn about technology and become digitally literate?
- How do you evaluate the reliability of internet websites and other resources? How do you locate appropriate and credible sources of information?
|I can't believe how quickly the year's flying by. And that tomorrow's already the fall equinox.|
|I cannot believe that you know that but did not know when Rosh Hashanah fell this year.|
|I got the dates mixed up. And I'll admit I had to look up the fall equinox date because it also varies slightly from year to year.|
|Technically, the equinox is not a day, but rather an exact moment – when the Sun crosses the Equator.|
|Picky, picky, picky. But if I remember correctly, although science class was decades ago, on the equinox, we have 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of nighttime.|
|Not exactly, but close enough. But, why are we even talking about this?|
|Because it marks the end of summer and the beginning of fall.|
|Only on the calendar. We live in Texas, so if you use temperature as a guide, fall weather is at least a month away. And, if you are waiting for foliage season, you will have to head north as it does not happen in Houston. Or, settle for some spectacular photos.|
|That's one of the things I miss most, but I love everything about fall – from the early morning "chill" in the air to pumpkin spice lattes (well, really, pumpkin "everything" these days) to the fall holidays. Especially Thanksgiving.|
|OK, but you have always referred to that as the "silly season". That once Halloween arrives, it is full speed ahead until just after the New Year.|
|Thanks a lot. I was thinking about how it's my favorite time of year, and you had to remind me that it goes by way too quickly.|
|So, maybe forget about the Sun and the Equator, and use the fall equinox as a "reminder" to try to stop and enjoy … not only the official beginning of fall but the entire "silly season".|