Greenwashing, Not an Eco Friendly Way to do Your Washing.
What is Greenwashing?
Greenwashing also known as "green sheen" is a form of marketing used by companies to convey a false impression or mislead the consumer into thinking the companies product is more environmentally friendly than it is. Often money is spent on misleading the consumer rather than actually becoming more environmentally friendly.
Why do companies use Greenwashing?
Some companies may accidentally be greenwashing through exaggerated environmental claims from sloppy or dishonest advertising, whilst others actually do it intentionally, leading the consumer to believe they are buying environmentally sound products.
What can be done about it?
People are becoming more aware of greenwashing and advocacy groups and government regulators are showing more interest in companies' environmental claims.
Here's what you can do!
When you see a claim that seems to be too good to be true ask yourself these questions.
1. What are the eco-friendly/recyclable products actually made of?
2. Is the information transparent? It's hard to be 100% perfect but honesty goes a long way.
3. Could companies be hiding a bigger issue whilst claiming to be making changes?
ex. The swapping in shops of plastic fruit and veg bags to more eco-friendly options while the majority of the fruit and veg still comes pre-packaged in plastic.
4. Is this label/ certification legitimate? False labels or certifications that mislead the consumer to believe the product has undergone a legitimate green screening are sometimes used by companies.
5. What does "all-natural" mean? Things such as arsenic and mercury are naturally occurring so using the words "all-natural" can be very vague.
Hopefully, this has given you a better understanding of what greenwashing is and some of the things you can look out for when making your purchases.
It is a bit of a minefield out there and we can often feel cheated by things like greenwashing but just remember we are only trying to do our best to do our best.