Spotting Greenwashing

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 12:53 AM

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Spotting Greenwashing

Have you been Greenwashed? There are many companies that tell us they are good for the environment, but some companies are just Greenwashing. What does that mean? Some call it green marketing and the only thing green is the money they make off selling us their product. What can we do?

Here are some tips from the Enviromedia Social Marketing, which promotes the Greenwashing Index with the help of the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication, so we don’t get Greenwashed.

  1. Truth: If you see a green ad, take a look at the company as a whole. Can you easily find more information about their sustainable business practices on their Website? Do they have a comprehensive environmental story? Is there believable information to substantiate the green claims you saw in the ad? If not, buyer beware.
  2. The Whole Truth: Next, try Googling the company name plus the word “environment” and see what pops up. This is not very scientific, but if you as a consumer or advocate for the environment are upset with the company’s record, something’s bound to pop up. Like the Better Business Bureau for the environment, your responses count.
  3. And Nothing But The Truth: “I know it when I see it.” (These are the words of Supreme Court Justice Warren Potter in a ruling on hard-core pornography in 1964.) These are words to remember as a consumer when you see ‘being green’ marketing claims. When you see the ad, how does it make you feel? Does it sound true and authentic, or just hype? Smart Shoppers are everywhere around the world, and your own attention to the green marketing claims is one more thing to carry with you to the store.

Submitted by Kathy Sprick



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