And, no, I’m not talking about soap nuts or any other sort of eco-friendly laundry products!
Do you think you’ve ever been greenwashed?
Actually, you probably experience greenwashing every single day, perhaps without even realising that it’s happening.
So, what is greenwashing?
Let me explain:
Greenwashing is when a company makes false environmental claims in order to convince, you, the consumer, that their products are more sustainable and eco-friendly than they really are.
False claims are made using imagery or wording that brings up a misleading and inaccurate, but environmentally positive, idea in the consumer’s mind.
How to spot it:
Green is the dominant colour when it comes to product photos and packaging. Take a wander down the detergent and cleaning aisle in the supermarket. Many chemical products have green packaging or are green in colour. The labels increasingly feature grass, flowers, morning dew, rain, clear blue skies with a few fluffy white clouds and other things associated with nature. It gives a strong supposed connection with the environment. But how can a product that’s full of chemical ingredients and sold in a plastic bottle possibly be good for the environment. And more to the point, how can it be sold as ‘natural?
Similar things happen in the fashion industry, an industry notorious for encouraging over-consumption, and therefore waste, and for the ethical implications of ‘sweat shop’ labour. Fashion businesses have jumped on the ‘natural’ bandwagon, describing their clothes as ‘conscious. Promotional photos usually have a background of forests, gardens, or jungles and stores often sport green walls – all in an attempt to persuade you of their non-existent eco credentials.
A Way With Words!
There are some words that are frequently used in an attempt to mislead the consumer: ‘green’, ‘natural’, ‘organic’, conscious’ are just a few. These words DO NOT necessarily mean that a product is better for the environment or for you, the buyer. However, using them gives the impression that a product is more ethical and sustainable.
Ways To Avoid Greenwashing:
Be wary of product packaging: Don’t be misled by bottles full of chemicals that are covered in leaves and trees!
Always read the small print: Whether it’s cleaning products, laundry detergents, beauty and skin care or clothing, many brands are using key words like ‘conscious’, ‘green’, ‘organic’ and ‘natural’. But are they?
Always read the full list of ingredients and check out the brand to find out just how ethical and sustainable they really are. https://www.ewg.org/ or Think Dirty are great places to check.
Get informed It’s pretty easy these days to find out which materials are sustainable and what is better for the environment and our health. Join groups that share your concerns and your ethos.
Support small, local businesses: Small independent brands are far more likely to be sustainable and ethically conscious. They will also be happy to give you all the information about their products so that you can make a conscious decision.
Being an eco-warrior myself, naturally (!) I have a Facebook group for like-minded people: https://www.facebook.com/groups/anaturalalternative/ Why not pop over and join our friendly bunch?
I also have a page where I share my vegan, natural bath and body care products: https://www.facebook.com/SkinKiss2/
And if you like the idea of ethical products check out my website: https://www.skinkiss.org.uk
I really hope you’ve enjoyed reading this, and congratulations if you got this far!
Love and Light, Lesley x