June 28, 2010

Bill Capsalis is confused.

He seems to think “green” is a revolution, not a demographic. My kind of marketeer.

This is an ode to the man known as Bill “Anti-Greenwashing” Capsalis. For those of you who already know him, you don’t need to read this. Just leave a comment below and tell your favorite Bill is Confused story.

Here’s what I mean. I was just at LOHAS, which is amazing. And at one panel, Starbucks and Petco and Ebay were presenting about how green they were, or wanted to become, and it was a great panel. But the funny thing is, Bill was squirming about in his chair, as if he couldn’t believe his ears or eyes. He was having a fit, a seizure of some sort.

He kept raising his hand, and blustering… “but you know those cups aren’t recyclable or compostable, they’re lined with plastic” or “what do you mean you’re doing your best, Eco Products has a 100% compostable cup already, use theirs!” Now, I’m paraphrasing, and I don’t want to get Bill in trouble, so just know this:

Bill doesn’t care if you get him in trouble.

While the whole crowd, including yours truly (though I asked one constructive question) was sitting their smiling and nodding, Bill was confused. He thought we were here to talk about actually being eco responsible.

Now, this is no criticism of Starbucks, or Coke, or Pepsi, or anyone. They’re corporations, they’ve got to make money, satisfy boards, make decisions by committee.

But, you see, the LOHAS or green marketplace…conscious consumers…aren’t too caught up in where BP’s stock is at. We want to buy responsibly made products, from cradle to cradle. Why? Simple: it’s our responsibility. My responsibility. That why I wear vintage cowboy shirts and bike around and shop organic. Not ’cause I subscribe to Hippie Yuppie Quarterly, but because I think what’s truly patriotic is to buy Made in the USA—even better—buy local. I don’t think it’s patriotic to drive around in a Hummer fueled by oil sold by friends of our frenemies. I don’t think it’s patriotic to deny health care to children, or anyone. I don’t think it’s patriotic to deny habeus corpus to anyone in our jurisdiction by shipping ’em off to some island that, technically, isn’t America.

But to bring this back to Bill:

Bill is confused. Because he seems to think this is a revolution. A movement. Not a demographic.

Not a fad to make money off of, merely.

He’s one of the best green marketeers out there. If I were Pepsi, or Coke, or Starbucks, or whomever, I’d hire him.

But that wouldn’t be enough. I’d listen to him. And do what he tells me to do. And then I’d watch those LOHAS customer’s dollars flow.

And I’d have the satisfaction of never hearing a flustered, blustery question from Bill in some panel again.

Hire him. [I wrote this without his knowledge, btw]

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