Now I'm hearing it all the time - and I understand why. According to the U.S.-based watchdog organization CorpWatch, greenwash is "the phenomena of socially and environmentally destructive corporations, attempting to preserve and expand their markets or power by posing as friends of the environment…" Wow. That's a heavy definition, but these are heavy times. What it breaks down to is dubious eco-friendly dubbing.
I know first hand how the food industry tries to label some of their products from a greener more healthier stance. Many snack food companies add "Zero Trans Fats" to their labels to promote the snacks as a healthier option. But zero trans fat or not, it may be heart healthier, but the lack of nutrition and high caloric value doesn't make it a healthy snack option. But now, the same type of shady distinguishing is happening in the green space.
A great interview from Canadian TV on You Tube showcases the 6 sins of greenwashing as defined by Scott McDougall, President of Terra Choice, an environmental marketing company. Also, from a piece from DivineCaroline on some everyday household consumer products — yogurt, breath fresheners and a power bar — examines the massive greenwashing done on some popular brands that may be in your house.
So where does one go with all of this information? There has always been deception in advertising. We have to remember that companies will do their best to move their product using the buzz word of the day. Natural Home Magazine has some great ways to avoid being greenwashed and the logos to look for when spending your green.
But above all, READ-YOUR-LABELS, ASK QUESTIONS, EXERCISE YOUR CHOICE - and, sticking with natural, organic products labeled as such can alleviate the mental headache of trying to figure out if your non-toxic cleaner is really that. For more info, watch the Eco-Living videos on beYOU.tv
Written by: Michelle Barge