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Panasonic Hosting… Earth Lunch Hour?

Panasonic is an electronics company, right? So, what’s it doing in the environmentally-friendly food world? Well, I guess even electronics companies have to eat… er, their employees do.

In some sort of take-off on Earth Hour, I imagine, Panasonic is hosting a 24-hour social-media-a-thon on eco-friendly eating today, Earth Lunch Hour.

Really, this is a great thing in my mind — food is a basic necessity and also a leading cause of many of our environmental problems. But it doesn’t have to be so. Some types of food are much more environmentally friendly than others. Additionally, we could waste a lot less food than we do these days — did you know we waste about 27% of our food in the US and this is equivalent to “350 million barrels of oil or about 2 percent of the country’s annual energy consumption,” more than is gained from Gulf of Mexico oil and gas?

Panasonic gets the point. On the Earth Lunch Hour website, it breaks up ways you can help the environment during lunch hour into 4 categories with 3 key points under each:

  1. Food Selection: eat seasonal and local; eat vegetarian or vegan and if you do eat fish and meat, eat smaller fish and animals; use natural, organically-grown ingredients.
  2. Food Preparation: prepare food without waste; use heat efficiently; don’t waste water.
  3. Clearing: minimize washing; use biodegradable detergent; separate garbage & recycle.
  4. Manners: don’t leave leftovers; turn out lights not being used; try to not create garbage.

That’s a great list of tips. But there’s a lot more good info on the site as well and there are plenty of ways to pick up or share more via an on-site Twitter stream and other social media.

Is this just greenwashing, distracting us from Panasonic’s harmful practices and materials? Jeff McIntire-Strasburg gets into that issue on sustainablog and finds that it is not.

“It’s tempting to take that path, and proclaim that Panasonic’s focusing on food rather than the impact of its own business operations… the old bait and switch (or, a sort of odd version of the hidden trade-off),” Jeff says. “But, interestingly enough, they really don’t have much to hide in terms of their own efforts: Greenpeace moved them up from #10 to #6 in the latest edition of the Guide to Greener Electronics.”

Though, he is also a little confused as to why this electronics company is focusing on food. “Perhaps the overall marketing strategy here is just way over my head… but, if that’s the case, I’d love for someone to explain…”

Whatever the reason, though, it’s an important topic and we have to be happy Panasonic is bringing more attention to it. Head on over and participate in Earth Lunch Hour today,.. & every day!

Photo Credit: flickr user UweBKK (α 550 on )

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