Green Consumer Essay
What is green? Well, it is a secondary color made from the yellow and blue and can be presented in different tints and shades. Green is also the color of the grass and the leaves on the trees you see every day when you go for a walk in the park. However, in today’s society green has a whole new meaning than just a color. “Going Green” means do whatever that can be done to help the earth become a cleaner and healthier planet for both humans and animals to live on.
Because of this Jacquelyn Ottman wrote an article called “We are all green consumers”, anyhow, I do not believe she wrote a valid article. In the article the author used untrustworthy statistics, used a limited amount of sources, inaccurate groups, and got very stereotypical. Therefore, I strongly believe that Ottman’s article saying “We are all green consumers” is an unreliable source and invalid argument. The very first thing that the author does in her article is separates society in to very specific groups.
Examples of these groups are the Naturalites, Resource Conservers, and Animal Lovers. By doing this the author is saying that each group has “their [own] involvement in green values, activities, and purchas[es]” (Ottman 23). This means that every group only focuses on that area of going green and that is it. However, Ottman does not even mention the possibility of a person in one group wanted to help out in other group in any way shape of form. The author does not know that the Animal Lover might “love the outdoors…camping, skiing, or hiking” (Ottman 31).
By not mentioning this it shows that she does not think about both sides of her argument which a good author does. This shows that it is not the best idea to say that we all fall in to one of these specific groups that Ottman has made up. Furthermore, the author uses statistics from a very limited sample group. If Ottman want to persuade her reading into believing that “We are all green consumers” she is going to need to use an extensive cross section of subjects. The author says all her statistics are “based on interviews with over 4,000 U. S. adults” (Ottman 22). This is very small sample group to be working with; a good sample group would be more like 500,000 to 5 million people, not 4,000. The US population today alone is over 300 million people as of July 2011. Therefore, Ottman only interviewed less than a hundred thousandth of a percent of the US population. Her readers might think that a big enough sample group but it really is not, nowhere close. Then with the thousandth of a percent she made outrageous statistics say that “a whopping 83% of the US population – can be classified as a shade of green…and estimated 17% however unconcerned” (Ottman 22).
Just because 680 people say they do not help out in going green does not mean the author can that 17% of the US population is unconcerned or that 3,320 people equals 83%. What the author should have done is sent out pallets asking what people do to help go green in areas all over the US not in a selected area. Then all of here data would have been more accurate and she could have then make better avulsions and percentages in each of her groups that’s she made up. This then would have been better to use to help support her argument and made readers believe that we are all green consumers.
In addition, to the statistics being over dramatized the author only used one outside course to support her argument; this can make her argument seem biases towards her to prove we are all green consumers. Jacquelyn Ottman works for a company called Ottman Consulting. The outside source she uses is called Natural Marketing Institute. By using only one other outside source will weaken Ottman’s argument. Then by having a weaken argument the reader will start to disbelieve all the facts you put in to help support the argument you have made.
Also, the author uses her company’s research as a source. By using he own company’s research as a source the author can play around with whatever she wants to make the data appear in her favor of the argument that she is try to display. It also shows that the author does not have a strong argument. If she had to resource to her own company to help support her point of the argument then reader will not support her with her side of the argument. Moreover, to the author using her own company, in order for an argument to be persuasive, she must not rely on stereotypes or racism.
After she separates society into very distinct groups she gets even more specific in what each of these groups of people these are, she even gets some stereotypes in her article. When the author starts to talk about the Unconcerneds she say these people are “younger males livening in the South with slightly below-average incomes and lower education levels” (Ottman 27). With this comment she is saying that if you are a young male with low income and slightly education then you most likely belong to this 17% of the US population.
The author even says a specific race of people. When she was talking about the Naturalites Ottman states “Naturalites live in the South (where recycling is not prevalent as in other areas) and much are likely to be African American” (Ottman 25). This says that one must be African American and live in the south to be a Naturalites, and you don’t recycle either. Assumptions like this can get people very upset, cause problems, might even start fights, plus not all Naturalites are African Americans, they can be white, Asian, or Espanic.
Therefore Jacquelyn Ottman argument that “We are all green consumers” is dishonest due to several reasons and flaws. She should not make outrageous statistics with such little data or get stereotypical. People might not only help with the environment, animals or saving energy, they help out with what they feel is more important to them. Life is not about color, the color of our skin or what color society wants us to go. Green should not be a way of life it is just a secondary color made up of yellow and blue.