Being Washed in Green

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 10:17 PM

Walking down the house cleaning aisle at the grocery store I am bombarded with the latest and greatest of chemical detergents to clean my home. Some contain bleach, some are citrus scented, and others are “natural” and “green”. There is even a special section for natural and “green” cleaners, a significantly more expensive section with aromatic lavender and eucalyptus scented dye free products. While purchasing “green” items may be appealing to one’s environmental conscious, it is difficult to discern how green all of these expensive items really are. It may be surprising to some, but most of these items are displaying a tactic known as Greenwashing-a marketing technique that makes products appear greener than they actually are. With “going green” being the trend of the times, many big businesses (from those producing cleaning products to energy companies and beyond)are seeking to make a profit from this Earth friendly focus by decorating their products in multiple “shades” of seemingly environmentally friendly green.  Make no mistake, most of the products adorned with this fancy dress are not truly an earth friendly green. Household cleaners, for example, are in the same clunky plastic bottles containing most of the same ingredients all of the other traditional cleaners do. Sure they may draw consumers in claiming to be “chlorine free” and “derived from natural ingredients”, but I would not say they are exactly as environmentally friendly and pocket friendly as say vinegar and water.

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