Ever heard of greenwashing? This term has been something that’s made me stand up and pay attention as of late. One of the reasons I love this blog so much is that it gives me an outlet to bring awareness to things that aren’t mainstream so others can stand up and pay attention as well. There’s so much convoluted information out there and so the ability to hide and disguise is, sadly, all too easy. The most frustrating part of this for me is seeing all the trickery that’s played on unsuspecting consumers who are simply trying to live responsibly. So what is greenwashing? Greenwashing is defined by the Greenwashing Index as:
It’s greenwashing when a company or organization spends more time and money claiming to be “green” through advertising and marketing than actually implementing business practices that minimize environmental impact.
And Greenpeace defines greenwashing as:
Used to describe the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.
Tips to avoid greenwashing:
- Look for a third party certificate.
- Read the labels on the back not just the promotions on the front.
- Google the company and do your research. If a company uses sustainable practices they will most definitely talk about it on their website.
- Trust your intuition. If you don’t trust the company or the product they’re promoting there’s probably a reason.
More companies than ever before are using sustainable, environmentally friendly practices. Clothing companies are sourcing fabrics and having items made locally. Home goods companies are using textiles and parts that have lower toxicity levels. Cars are going hybrid. There are a million and one incidences of better business practices but, the reality is that research still has to be done to make sure we as consumers are making responsible decisions. And yet, with all that being said some of the guiltiest greenwashing instances happen with clothing, bottled water, cars, mattresses, laundry detergents, pet food, household cleaning products, beauty products and, of course, children’s toys.
In conclusion, do your research. Google and the individual companies websites will be your best ally in determining the truth about the products you’re purchasing. Being more aware makes this world a better place to live, wouldn’t you agree?