A Search for the Greenest Grade School in America Leaves My Stomach Churning
Recently I pointed out that the marketing folks at Unilever were hard at work leveraging the green movement in Canada via the creation of the first national awards for young eco-heroes in that country, and it seems those same elves are cooking up this contest right here in America as well.
Turns out the "Go Green and Small with 'all'" contest means your school could win a cool $50,000 towards an eco-improvement on campus, along with an iPod shuffle and accompanying solar charger for every kid in the school.
What they're looking for is a grade school that's out to change the world, starting right in their own backyard. And it wouldn't hurt if you were using their "all small & mighty" 3X concentrated detergent in the process. As their website points out the reduced packaging saves fuel and other natural resources, which could be a genuine starting point for getting elementary kids thinking about some of the other choices they make at home as well
But personally, I'd be a lot happier if both of these contests were being put out by a non-profit group, and sponsored by Unilever and whoever else, rather than being the marketing tool of a huge conglomerate they seem to me. I think the real question is where large, successful non-profits have been on the task of reaching out to kids in such a way with contests like this
I don't think it takes a marketing genius to know that someone should have jumped on both of these ideas a long time ago. And if they were up to the task like they should have been then large "eco-conglomerate" non-profits would have been bringing in the sponsors they choose, and reaping the financial benefits to be had in the process. Instead, they're stuck sanctioning Unilever's agenda for the crumbs that fall from the table...
Now to be fair I need to point out that I am virtually never against corporations being involved in the eco-movement with kids, though I am completely fired up this morning. The whole thing reeks of a gigantic, missed opportunity for some people, and if you think I'm going to pretend otherwise you simply don't know Kenny Luna...