Proctor & Gambling

You could call me a mommy blogger. After all, I did put Mama in the name of my blog. But I don’t do some of the things many mommy bloggers do. For instance, I generally don’t do product promotions and giveaways on this blog. I’ve considered it, but most of the time, the promotions offered by the companies are for things I simply don’t use, or even that I would feel uncomfortable using.

I’m also not really into buying Stuff, or promoting the buying of Stuff. I’m more likely to buy used, buy local, make my own, etc.

However, when BlogHer offered me a Proctor & Gamble promotion, I decided to give it a try. They sent me a $25 Kroger gift card, with which I was to buy any four Proctor & Gamble products, and then write about the experience as a comment on a BlogHer post.

Proctor & Gamble makes a lot of different products. I figured I could find something useful to buy. Actually, what I thought was “Proctor & Gamble must have some ‘green’ products — I can buy those and report back on my blog!”

So I signed up for the promotion, and meanwhile went to the Proctor & Gamble website to see what “green” products they had available.

And the answer is? They don’t. While many companies have developed “green” product lines in recent years, Proctor & Gamble says that instead they have been working on “greening” their overall operations. Here’s their overall sustainability vision:

As part of our strategy to grow responsibly, we will work toward a long-term environmental sustainability vision that includes:

    • Powering our plants with 100% renewable energy
    • Using 100% renewable or recycled materials for all products and packaging
    • Having zero consumer and manufacturing waste go to landfills
    • Designing products that delight consumers while maximizing our conservation of resources

I’m actually intrigued by this. Could this actually be more effective than “greenwashing” by developing a so-called “green” product line? Or is it just another form of “greenwashing?”

Proctor & Gamble acknowledges that this is a very long-term vision, which may take decades to reach. But according to their own statistics, they have made progress — for instance, they claim that 30% of their plants are now powered by renewable energy.  They also claim to have reduced energy usage at their plants by 50% since 2002, and to have reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 53%. And GreenBiz.com points out other areas in which Proctor & Gamble is walking the green talk.

Now, there’s also the issue of whether Proctor & Gamble products contain chemicals that could be harmful to humans and/or animals. There’s a lot of information on the company website about this, too. Basically, they say that they work hard and do the science to make sure their products are safe to use, even if they do contain unpronounceable chemicals. And they have a last-resort policy on animal testing — they use other methods like computer modeling first.  And I’m not totally against chemicals; I think they have their place. Which brings me to my actual purchases!

I ended up buying Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Bath Scrubbers, because our bathtub needs help. I prefer more natural products (and re-usable cloths) for everyday cleaning, but sometimes you need a chemical intervention. I also got a roll of Bounty Basic paper towels; we don’t use paper towels on an everyday basis, but we do need them for things like sopping up bacon grease.  And I got a package of Duracell batteries and a bottle of Pantene shampoo/conditioner for curly hair.

I didn’t buy the Mr. Clean all-purpose cleaner, even though we needed some, because I couldn’t remember what sodium hydroxide was (it’s just lye, d’oh!). I actually picked up a concentrated cleaner from the natural foods aisle which I can dilute to make ELEVEN bottles of all-purpose cleaner. I often just use vinegar and water, but my husband likes to have something more official around. And the concentrate only cost $5.99.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the experience. I didn’t buy anything we don’t ordinarily use (yes, even the bathtub scrubber; I’m OK with occasional interventions like this), I got free products, and I don’t feel dirty about it.

By the way, BlogHer is giving away more $25 Kroger gift cards; to enter the drawing, just comment on their blog post about this promotion.

Disclaimer: Yes, as you’ve already noted, I did receive a free $25 Kroger gift card as part of this promotion. I wasn’t required to write this blog post in exchange, but I did anyway because I found the experience interesting)