Greenwashing is the deceptive use of green marketing to create a misleading perception among consumers that a company’s policies, services, or products are organic or environmentally friendly.
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. It’s whitewashing, but with a green brush.
How It Works
Let’s say Company XYZ produces a new line of plastic food containers. It labels the containers “tree friendly” because they are not made from wood or forest products. This creates the perception that the company is not harming nature to make the food containers, when in fact it is using petroleum products that many argue are more harmful to the environment. Company XYZ is attempting to greenwash its products.
Source: Investing Answers
What you need to look for when shopping for an authentic natural or organic product:
- Check the ingredients on the label carefully and read the fine print – it may say organic/natural actives or organic essential oils which is usually only a tiny percentage of a synthetic formulation.
- Look out for natural ingredients, especially in the top 5 ingredients of the formulation as the ingredients are listed in the order of percentage, highest to lowest.
- If any of the following ingredients are in the top 5 to 10 listed, then you will usually find that it is not a natural formula; mineral oil (petroleum), acetone, acrylates copolymer, sodium lauryl sulphate, PEGs (any number, they are synthetic), parabens (many have prefixes in front of them such as methyl, butyl, ethyl propyl), DEA, MEA, TEA, dioxin, triclosan, petrolatum, imidazolidinyl Urea and Diazolidinyl Urea.