if green’s not green then what color is?

The color green might have killed Napoleon.

So says the New York Times in The Toxic Side of Being, Literally, Green.

Kermit was correct, being green really is tough, so tough that the color itself fails dismally. The cruel truth is that most forms of the color green, the most powerful symbol of sustainable design, aren’t ecologically responsible, and can be damaging to the environment.

“The color green can never be green, because of the way it is made. It’s impossible to dye plastic green or to print green ink on paper without contaminating them.” 

What the article doesn’t say is whether another color that would would have been less toxic and a better fit for what is now the “green” movement.  It’s unlikely that red with all it’s sociao-political connotations would have been the chosen, but would that be less toxic, historically and in modern times?

“Natural” would be the most green since it would mean no artificial colors — though there are natural dyes out there that can produce beautiful colors. But let’s face it, the Natural Movement or Natural Party probably would likely not have caught on. 

So I guess the lesson learned is that GREEN-colored products may not be green at all.  So opt for the plainest, least colorful product (I know, so boring sometimes), or go with the color you like best and are most likely to use often. (That is, until it’s a color that we learn later is more toxic than green.)

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One Response to if green’s not green then what color is?

  1. swestland says:

    Reblogged this on Colour chat and commented:
    “The coluor green can never be green, because of the way it is made”.

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