green me up, scotty

i've had a couple of run ins with greening in recent days. espn (i've been watching a lot lately) is greening in san fransisco: an advertisement behind home plate currently says
let's green this city(.com, i think)
and, in route 66, where i'm currently working, the all-natural window spray i use to clean glass surfaces is called

greening the cleaning

in the first usage is a a standard infinitive verb following after a modal. in the second it is a past participle. it's a weird sentence fragment, almost like they're saying 'we are greening the cleaning' or 'you are greening the cleaning.'

for some reason, when i think of other verbs that occupy these sentence frames, they all end up sound very hip. i would say things like let's rock this city
rocking the cleaning.

so, whatever this 'to green' is, it sounds like something i want to do. more importantly, it sounds like some change i might want to bring over various mundane objects. used, as it is, in the context of advertisements and brand names, it must be something good.

'green' is widely used as an adjective meaning 'environmentally friendly' as in phrases like, 'we're a green store,' or 'the green party.' so it seems to be a way of encouraging hip people to convert their environs to the environmentally friendly. i also believe, though, that uses like these change how we think about the process of making things green. maybe it makes it seem gradual or plausible. maybe it makes it seem like something one person can begin by buying one product. advertisers must hope so. the only question now is: will greening catch on? the proof will be in the language.


Natalia said...

i greened my grocery shopping yesterday by buying a shaw's canvas tote bag for toting mah groceries around. incidentally, the bag is green.

hope you are well!

joe said...

Just don't greenwash.

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