Sick of the word “green”? Environmental buzzwords top list of words that should be banished for 2009. |

Sick of the word “green”? Environmental buzzwords top list of words that should be banished for 2009.

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Lake Superior State University just published their 2009 list of words that should be banished from the Queen’s English for being mis-used, over-used, or being  just plain useless. Environmental buzzwords such as “green,” “going green,” and all it’s variables top the list of words that people are sick of hearing. Carbon Footprint or Carbon Offsetting also made the list of words people would like to hear less of.

Environmental buzzwords are getting the axe this year. “Green” and “going green” received the most nominations.

GREEN – The ubiquitous ‘Green’ and all of its variables, such as ‘going green,’ ‘building green,’ ‘greening,’ ‘green technology,’ ‘green solutions’ and more, drew the most attention from those who sent in nominations this year.

“This phrase makes me go green every time I hear it.” Danielle Brunin, Lawrence, Kansas.

“I’m all for being environmentally responsible, but this ‘green’ needs to be nipped in the bud.” Valerie Gilson, Gales Ferry, Conn.

“Companies are less ‘green’ than ever, advertising the fact they are ‘green.’ Is anyone buying this nonsense?” Mark Etchason, Denver, Colo.

“If something is good for the environment, just say so. As Kermit would say, ‘It isn’t easy being green.’” Kevin Sherlock, Hiawatha, Iowa.

“If I see one more corporation declare itself ‘green,’ I’m going to start burning tires in my backyard.” Ed Hardiman, Bristow, Va.

“This spawned ‘green solutions,’ ‘green technology,’ and the horrible use of the word as a verb, as in, ‘We really need to think about greening our office.’” Mike McDermott, Philadelphia, Penn.

Lake Superior State University

I might have to agree that it is over used and abused. Maybe it’s time to lay off the green and find another term to over use. Perhaps next year it can be “sustainability.” ;)

14 Responses

  1. LightRailBlogger Says:

    Found your site by accident, glad I did! Good stuff on here.

  2. Ari Says:

    I think these people are more upset about the fact that people are becoming for conscious of the damage we’re dong to the environment and they resent the fact hat if we are, as a species, to continue to survive, we must phase out many of the “conveniences” of modern living. Yes, it is a ainful and unwelcome fact, but I just don’t see how we can continue on this path for another hundred or two hundred years. The pace at which we are destroying the ecosystems around us is DIZZYING.

    I, for one, value civilization and culture. I would hate for our consumerist habits to completely destroy what could continue to be a beautiful civilization (or rather set of civilizations) and gorgeous natural balance.

  3. Amy Jewell Says:

    I would agree that we are all kinda rolling our eyes at the word GREEN, but what do you suggest replacing it with? What’s the new hot word for green?

  4. Rob Says:

    I like the “green” buzzword but it’s use has been diffused so much that some of it’s intended meaning has been lost. Now you might see green labels on environmentally unfriendly products that are now slightly less harmful then they previously were.

    The “green” buzzword makes for a good sounding excuse to do whatever you want. “I’m drinking more beer this year. It’s the green thing to do.” *joke*

  5. Tim Hart Says:

    Green makes me think of money, a much more immediate concern for our nation!why don’t we simply say “earth restoration” much more specific and positive! Stop the “green-washing” frenzy and just start undoing the damage.less drum beating and political hype. Less preaching,less posturing for Government”green money”.Elvis said it best “a little less talk and a little more action”!!!!

  6. Steve Says:

    Count me in as someone who also hates this word. I may be unusual in that I question the environmental movement more than most (which doesn’t say much since people don’t ever question it) so when I see absurdity like “Buy our new green Bissel cleaner and save the planet!” I say “Gee, wouldn’t it be ‘greener’ not to buy it at all?”.

    Carbon footprint, green, sustainability, responsibility etc… they are all trendy buzzwords of the scientifically-questionable socialist religious movement.

  7. Lynn Says:

    I would rather the word enviormentally safe to people and nature.
    The word Green seems to distort enviormentalism.
    Some mainstream media cheapens the responsibilty that isn’t about slang or being popular.
    It’s about making thoughtful sustainable changes that makes the world a better place.
    It’s not being new taking care of the enviorment as the media makes it, like they just found it.
    It’s hard to know who really means green truly unless {maybe that’s what their specialty is}.
    It’s awful whoever made that slang {green} because it doesn’t tell anyone anything about a product or anything else.

  8. Lynn Says:

    Oh I forgot the word {Unless} Maybe that’s what a companys speciality is}

  9. Lauren Says:

    OK folks, help me out here! I’m a marketing professional who has spent her 30 year career in the environmetnal industry. I’m trying to come up with a tag line for client with a phenomenally environmentally beneficial process. I don’t think “A phenomenally environmentally beneficial process” is going to exactly roll off people’s tongues! I keep going to “green” but also feel it’s over used. As is “sustainable” and “responsible”. Quit green-bashing and give me some ideas!!
    (thank you! :)!)

  10. Pat Germelman Says:

    Lauren: How about “Eco-friendly”? It, too, is getting a little worn but I do think it is more accurate than describing a company as “green” if said compnay has taken a step or two toward being green. In my mind, green means ALL you do is environmentally friendly or, at least, that’s your philosophical stance on th matter. “Eco-friendly” means (to me) that you like the idea of being green, you’re taking a stab at it and generally moving in that direction. Do you wash and re-use recycled paper towels or only use cloth towels? Yep,
    you’re green. Do you buy recycled paper towels and toss ‘em in the trash after one use? You’re at least Eco-friendly and not adverse to the idea & even taking some small steps toward going green. Bottom line, it’s
    semantics and the public can easily be snookered by
    either choice of words. Just try your best to mean what you say (write.) Not all companies do in the name of marketing and folks get fooled by product packaging. The same issues come up with the use of words like “organic” and “healthy.” All we can do is try our best to be accurate, one company at a time.

  11. Santhan Says:

    Better the word be over-used and abused for some kind of progress. Worse than abusing “green” would be aversion to something good just because it was labeled “green”. If a buzzword conveys meaning that is easily understood, let’s keep it OK?

    See even DreamHost does it in they little badge at the bottom of this page ;)

  12. Hayley Says:

    How about “environmental stewardship?”

  13. Ima Green Zuchini Says:


  14. Ima Green Zuchini Says:

    when I found this website, I was looking for words to use instead of the color green, but this works too!

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