Is it Green, or Just More Greenwashing?

Terrachoice recently released its annual Sins of Greenwashing study and the results are, unfortunately, not surprising to anyone familiar with the reality of today’s green marketing. According to the study, 95% of the 5,296 products that were reviewed are still making some kind of green claim are still committing at least one greenwashing sin.

And some of the sins are getting worse. 70% of products offer no proof of their claims and over 30% include a label that looks like a third party certification, but isn’t. In other words, in an attempt to part you from your green, some marketers are making up green claims. It’s appalling.

So how do you spot a fake? You can brush up on your Greenwash Guides, such as the one put out by Ogilvy Earth, or you can remember this one simple rule of thumb that, while not always true, is a good start: if it’s green, it costs less green.

Think about it. A product that is produced through a green manufacturing process uses less water, less power, and/or less non-renewable/non-recyclable raw material. Water costs money. Power costs money. And non-renewable/non-recyclable materials cost more in the long run than renewable/recyclable materials. So if it’s truly green, it was made green, and cost the company less to make than non-green products using non-green methods. So you shouldn’t be paying a premium.

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