Greenwashing Gains Currency
It´s almost an official term by now. Greenwashing. Defined by TerraChoice.com as: (green’wash’, -wôsh’) – verb: the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.
So if we have a term for it, just how serious is greenwashing in practice? It’s pretty awful over in the Americas, that’s for sure; greenwashing concerned 99% of 1,018 consumer products that TerraChoice investigated in its November 2007 study ‘Six Sins of Greenwashing´.
MarketingSherpa recently came up with a few common sense criteria for ´green´ products;
o Raw materials used
o How materials are gathered
o Manufacturing processes
o Marketing methods
o Product’s use
o How the product is discarded
These criteria make sense across the board. I am not a fan of holier-than-thou labeling but I think that marketing funds could be spent on informing customers rather than misleading them or generally glossing things up.
Want in-depth information about products? TerraChoice has a listing of validation products for the North American market. For consumer reports, you can also check out Eco-labels on http://www.greenerchoices.org. To understand what is going on behind the scenes at the various green product labels, check out http://www.buildinggreen.com. The alonovo.com site where US consumers can purchase goods and donate a portion of their spendings to carbon offsetting goals also buzzes with well-researched information.