Have you noticed all the ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘green’ labeled products and services popping up in the past few years? Have you ever been suspicious over the green advertisements and claims made by a company that is known for the exact opposite? You’re right to suspect with some manufacturers and businesses. Their misleading claims about their eco-friendliness is called “greenwashing”.

According to sinsofgreenwashing.org greenwashing is defined as “the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a  product or service.”[1]

So why is greenwashing such a big problem? To summarize the explanation, it is not only bad for our environment but also for the consumer and the businesses who are doing the greenwashing. Whether businesses are aware they are greenwashing or not, false advertisement encourages consumers to do the opposite of what they claim is good for the environment.

How to avoid being greenwashed: Next time you see a green ad that makes you suspicious, research the company as a whole and ask yourself these questions: Can I find more information about their practices with ease online? Do they have a comprehensive environmental story? Is the information you saw in the ad substantiate to the information you are reading online? Try googling the companies name+”environment”, if past consumers/advocates have had a problem with the companies track record, something may pop up!
Now that you’ve been informed about greenwashing, take a closer look next time you see an eco-friendly product, read the labels and do your research! The earth thanks you 🙂

For more information on greenwashing visit:

Sources: sinsofgreenwashing.org [1]
greenwashingindex.com [2]