Green Products Aren’t All They’re Cracked Up To Be
Being green could very well be the new black of this decade. You see it everywhere with the “New and Improved Green (insert something)”. That warm fuzzy feeling of doing our part for the planet is just jammed down our throats day in and day out by people that are great at marketing environmental responsibility. The truth of the matter really is if we all took responsibility for ourselves and did small things to impact our environment it would eventually lead to a bigger solution. But alas as it’s a capitalist environment and everyone is trying to find their spin on their products we get to be inundated by this trend.
Over the last few seasons there’s been more and more momentum growing on green products. The real question though for anyone is how much of it is marketing bullshit and how much of it is the truth. The best quote I’ve ever heard about this was, “if you’re going to use something green in the production of snowboards it better be beneficial to the rider otherwise there’s no reason to use it at all.” It’s the truth there’s an environmental substitute for just about everything out there but it doesn’t mean it’s the best.
The best example of this is bamboo. Everyone is using it right now from sidewalls to topsheets. It’s highly renewable and has great strength coupled with snap. You probably have at one point had a company pitch its benefits about tensile strength and renewable growth rate. Yeah they’re right but it’s also not some magic wood that doesn’t have its faults. End to end it’s strong and snappy but a direct hit like a compression can cause it to be crushed. Having ridden hundreds of boards I’ve dented my fair share of bases and on one occasion pushed a base through the topsheet by hitting a section of the bamboo core. The board had great snap and always went back to its original shape except that one time after that impact.
Now you want an example of completely worthless green crap in a snowboard? How about Hemp. Great as a fabric and for making rope, but completely and utterly useless in the construction of a snowboard. Hemp stringers will never replace the snap of traditional carbon. They just don’t have that hallowed out rebound you get from a carbon rod nor do they have that responsive snap that a strip of carbon has.
There’s definitely more parts to the board building process that are just standard green washing. There’s also a plethora of companies now marketing themselves as being green and saying they’re the originators or the only one. Strange to claim that since companies like Venture, Mervin, and Arbor have been doing it for a while. Maybe some people should do their research before making statements.
You as a consumer it’s your job to weed through the bullshit that’s out there. It’s also your duty to not be shamed into buying something inferior because a company tugs at your heart strings on environmental issues. Hell if a company was truly green they wouldn’t have their products made thousands of miles away from raw materials sourced elsewhere then shipped to their corporate office only to be shipped again worldwide.
Just remember if you want to make a real difference in the world start small and do things like walk instead of drive, carpool, recycle, take shorter showers, buy local grown foods, and it’ll help the planet.
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