3 Ways to Spot Greenwashing

3 Ways to Spot Greenwashing
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You have probably heard this story before, or perhaps something quite similar has happened to you; the story of the young lady who bought the beautiful “designer” purse from that store who claimed it to be the real thing, however, when she took it home and inspected it harder, she realized that it was a big fat fake.

Well, that is what Greenwashing is; greenwashing companies are eco-fakes, the term refers to the unethical form of marketing that they use in an effort to generate more sales and to give the perception that their organization or products are aiming to make the world a greener place. The world is getting greener by the minute; more and more consumers are concerned about their environmental footprint and are taking a deeper interest on products and services that do good for the environment. This sudden boast in green attention is an awesome thing of course; the trend has inspired a large number of corporations to green up, some ethically so, while others choose to mislead the public with buzz words, leafy scenery, vague claims and big fat lies about their green efforts.

Why do Some Companies Greenwash:

There are greener options to pretty much everything that we use on a day to day basis, and we green minded people are willing to pay premium for the eco products and services that we feel good about. The green space is truly enormous, encompassing energy, building, beauty, play, food, fashion, travel and everything else in between, and because it is so massive, it represents potential income growth for businesses. Unethical companies do not see the value in actually becoming greener, all they see the money that they can generate, so instead of going through the trouble of actually greening up they greenwash.

How to Spot a Greenwashing Company:

Nothing but Smoke and Mirrors: Greenwashing marketing tactics includes overly green ads that may include words such “eco-friendly”, “sustainable”, “recyclable” and other eco buzz words. The scenery on the print or video ads may be nature-like with lots of foliage and random recyclable symbols with no real eco-friendly labeling. If you suspect a company may be greenwashing, take a closer look.

Where is the Proof: A company that is truly green can prove their environmental efforts with certifications, donation records and by sharing the progress of their eco campaigns. You should be able to find sound proof that a company is for true or greenwashing by researching on their website or by contacting them by phone or mail.

Ask for the Whole Truth: Greenwashing companies may over focus on the fact that they may be doing something greenish such as printing on recycled paper while completely forgetting to mention that their product may be causing extreme air pollution. Pay attention to the products you are buying, investigate their vague claims.