How to Avoid Greenwashing

August 30, 2017 1:54 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Every day, we are bombarded with advertisements. Whether it’s on TV, the radio, or the internet, each of us is exposed to hundreds of advertisements for products, brands and services daily. But with the new rise in green living, there’s a different type of advertising that’s more deceptive than most – greenwashing, the act of saying something is greener than it actually is.

Many brands use environmentally-friendly claims to promote their products, but the troubling truth is many of these companies are being deceptive – their products are not, in fact, as eco-friendly as they first appear. Terms like “Eco-friendly”, “green”, “natural” and “organic” are all used by companies to make sales and mislead the public into believing the product is more eco-friendly than it actually is.

As the world embraces green living more and more, it’s important we understand what greenwashing is, and how we can avoid it. Here’s a check-list to go through to ensure you’re not being deceived!

 

How to Avoid Greenwashing As a Customer

    1. When buying products that claim to be green, look for MEANINGFUL claims. Generic comments, such as “environmentally friendly” or “100% natural” need checking – does it explain why or how the product is green? Does it say why on their website? If the answer is no, the claim may be misleading.
    2. Avoid products that call out obvious claims, such as “CFC-Free”. CFC was banned more than 20 years ago.
    3. Look for certification. If a product is certified by a trusted company, such as the Soil Association, they will be able to verify if a product is green.
    4. Don’t be misled by clever marketing! Using pictures of nature, flowers, and the colour green is a very clever yet misleading way to suggest a product is natural.
    5. Read product instructions and warnings on the packaging. If a product says “warning”, it’s a safe assumption that they’re using potentially hazardous ingredients that could affect you or the environment.
    6. Be conscious of hidden trade-offs. Many products may claim to be green, but they may still be produced from hazardous or non-recyclable materials.

 

 

 

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This post was written by Rachel Lawrence

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