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Eco-Conscious Consumerism: Greenwashing + How To Spot It!

Hi there! It’s Naomi, and I’m here with another eco-conscious consumerism post, one that I am SUPER EXCITED ABOUT! This post, we’ll be talking all about greenwashing, which is something VERY IMPORTANT to recognize!

So, let’s go!

NATURAL! PURE! ORGANIC! HELPING THE ENVIRONMENT! These are labels we see all the time. The problem? Most of them aren’t true. This is greenwashing. As a straight-up definition, greenwashing is when a company advertises as being environmental, but actually isn’t (or isn’t doing as much as they say they do).

We’ve been pressuring companies into going green, and that’s great. The problem, though, is that companies are much more interested in actually SAYING that they’re going green than they are at GOING GREEN… and companies are very good at advertising that they’re going green.

Greenwashing could be as simple as adding leaves or pictures of trees, or a product could say ‘100% NATURAL’ while not actually using good practices. And it’s really difficult to figure out which companies are REALLY going natural.

However, there ARE still some good ways to spot greenwashing!

I’m going to compile a bunch of different ways to spot greenwashing into a list riight down here:

  1. Look for the buzz words– A lot of companies use the word ‘Natural’ on their products… HOWEVER, that doesn’t actually mean anything. Any company can just slap the words ‘100% Natural’ on their product, no matter WHAT! Actually take a look at the product label, and do some research into the legitimacy of this claim.
  2. Look at the big picture– Think about it, not just the way they want you to. A lot of companies will try to convince you with saying they’re HELPING, but think about it: could they easily be stopping the problem in the first place? Are they doing more damage than they’re fixing?
  3. Research– This is a BIG ONE! Look at their website. Are they actually SAYING THINGS, or is it all a bunch of filler words? And look up something like ‘Is ____ good for the environment?’ or ‘____ environmental impact’.
  4. Think like an advertiser– Look at the aesthetics, are they making you think something is environmental when really it’s not? Don’t just fall into their trap! Is what they’re saying an exaggeration or manipulation? Maybe! Just try to think about it like they would!

There are a bunch of examples of greenwashing I could give, but I’m going to list a couple. If you want, try to figure out why this is an example of greenwashing before I tell you!

*these greenwashing examples do not, for the most part, have to do with climate change, but it IS good practice!*

Baron, Manuela. “What Is Greenwashing?” YouTube, 14 Apr. 2017, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40-faRk7TmQ. Accessed 29 May 2020.

“Definition of GREENWASHING.” Www.merriam-Webster.com, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/greenwashing.

Kellogg, Author Kathryn. “7 Tips to Avoid Greenwashing.” Going Zero Waste, 28 Mar. 2017, http://www.goingzerowaste.com/blog/how-to-tell-if-youre-being-greenwashed. Accessed 26 July 2021.

Our Changing Climate. “Greenwashing: A Fiji Water Story.” YouTube, 28 July 2017, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOpa8kd6fBI.

Robbins, Ocean. “How Can You Avoid Greenwashing? 5 Steps to Choose Truly Healthy and Sustainable Foods.” Food Revolution Network, 4 Jan. 2019, foodrevolution.org/blog/how-to-avoid-greenwashing/.

Well, hope that was helpful! Greenwashing can be really difficult to spot, but hopefully now you can spot it a bit more easily!

My question of the day is what is something you wish that all companies did to help with climate change?

And, on a different note: I was wondering, what would you like to see on this blog? Short stories, climate change terms, ways to help, book/movie reviews, or something else?

And that’s it for the post! See you in the comments!

Author:

Ello! I'm Naomi, a tween girl with a passion for the environment. Other than that, I love cats and reading.

11 thoughts on “Eco-Conscious Consumerism: Greenwashing + How To Spot It!

  1. Another informative post, something I always wondered about that now has a name to it. And yes, I have been suspicious of Dawn dishsoap, trying to bait the consumer with the cute duck on the label when the product is not all that green. I’ll be reading more product labels from now on!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. WOW! AMAZING POST! I always suspect some comapanys are doing enough. Something that frustrates me is some car dealerships say “going electric starting today.” If they don’t have a goal on when to be all electric by a date, then they could essentially make one eletric car, and then technically the still are “gooing electric today.”

    Liked by 1 person

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