Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Like a Piece of Modern Art

Comparing green consumer products to local art museums

In Minneapolis we have two prominent art museums, the Walker Art Center
and The MIA (Minneapolis Institute of Art). Both museums have respectable collections; the MIA has more antiquities, while the Walker holds a more contemporary assortment. Another way of comparing these establishments, the MIA is more aesthetically pleasing, while the Walker’s surrealist and abstract works often need context to be understood.

Green products can be compared to traditional products in a
similar way. Contrast a masterpiece painting from the MIA to a modern abstract
piece at Walker. Looking a 300-year-old masterpiece, the value and
benefits are immediately apparent. Traditional products are purchased at face
value and the purchase decision is often based on the immediate benefits. While with the modern abstract one may need to know the context or the back-story to fully appreciate why its art.

Green products also derive their value from a back-story. Consumers of green products are usually concerned about where their products come from and where it will go when they are done with it. The similarity between green products and modern art is that one needs to know the societal and environmental context appreciate its significance, and therefore its value.