Friday, October 24, 2008

How to Avoid Greenwashing

The urge of people to become green brought, of course, lots of marketers “going green” in the other sense of word and mislead the consumers while the regulations are still waiting to be defined and clarified. Greenwashing is the word for these types of scams ("marketing techniques" :) , that is). Many products are claimed to be “all natural”, or “environmental friendly”, or “non-toxic”, etc while there is no standard established. Luckily, the ingredients on the cosmetic products and on food have to be listed now so people can decide for themselves whether to use that product.

Here are some tips on how to avoid greenwashing:
  • Always read the labels and try to draw the meaning from them. For lists of meaningful labels you can go here.

  • Read carefully the ingredients on the cleaningproducts and cosmetic products. I know that you feel like reading foreign language sometimes – but in time you learn them, at least you will know which ones are good and which ones are bad. From my experience, if there are ingredients hard to read – it means that they are chemicals in general, so I avoid them.
  • Read reviews on the internet; I tried many products based on consumer’s reviews (not company reviews!) and I was satisfied most of the time.
  • ALWAYS look for certification. Many products have the “certified” word on them, but they do not display the name of the certifying organization. Personally, I am skeptic about that and I talked about this many times in my posts. If companies have a certification for something they should be proud of that and display it on the product. If you can't verify that the product is certified it probably isn't.
  • NEVER rely on the sincerity of the manufacturer or the seller. Be aware on what are you spending your money.

3 comments:

Paul @ Green Pepper said...

Great post and very useful tips, thanks. Caught my attention because I just posted an article on the same subject at A short guide to greenwashing. Your comments would be very much appreciated.
Best wishes, Paul ;-)

Chanell said...

I think having an awareness of greenwashing is the first step. Before I started paying closer attention, I was probably suckered by so many false claims. I found a great article on decoding and understanding greenwashing. I suggest you check it out, too.

Lucia said...

Thanks Paul and Thanks Chanell for visiting my blog and for the great links. I have read to your blogs and they are great sources of information. Thanks,
Lucia