You’ve Been Greenwashed

We’re all on a magical, ethical, sustainable journey together wouldn’t you agree? A large population of earthlings are now becoming educated about living more sustainably. That’s amazing. There’s just one problem, companies are duping us with something called ‘greenwashing’. Unfortunately, we’ve all become victim to it.

“Greenwashing is the practice of making an unsubstantiated or misleading claim about the environmental benefits of a product, service, technology or company practice.

Greenwashing can make a company appear to be more environmentally friendly than it really is. It can also be used to differentiate a company’s products or services from its competitors by promising more efficient use of power or by being more cost-effective over time.”
https://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/greenwashing

It sucks right? Just when we think we’re making an impact, where our trust and respect increases in companies that provide ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’ alternatives. It turns out that it’s all just for corporate gain.

Embarking on an ecofriendly/sustainble journey is tough. I’ve been doing this for a year now, there’s still a long way to go and I doubt I’ll be able to achieve ‘boss level’ but it’s something! Every day I learn something new and I, certainly, have fallen victim the big brands, especially at the beginning. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s a learning curve and it helps open up a world of alternative products in the future.

Companies have jumped on the eco bandwagon by using fancy packaging and labeling to appeal to the fledgling eco warrior. They’re pretty convincing too!

Personally, I’ve been trying to use up what I already own and switch to organic, packaging free (where possible) products that are made without additives. Particularly if they can be harmful to my health or environment. This makes shopping a little harder. Being aware of good and bad ingredients can be overwhelming!

If you’re unsure of the ingredients/brands that are harmful to you or the your environment, you can search them through the mobile app “Think Dirty.” They score in a traffic light system, you can read more about them here.

So, how can you avoid falling down that big ol’ greenwashing rabbit hole?
There are three simple rules to follow:
1) Don’t always believe the label – it’s important to read the ingredients or understand the product that you are buying
2) Read reliable reviews – do some research before you go shopping
3) Buy local/hand made where possible – there are SO many small business that use local and organic ingredients that can be bought safely

The only way we can truly avoid being greenwashed, is to never buy a single thing ever again..and that’s just not an option! We just need to be more aware of what we are buying, who we are spending our pennies with and who actually benefits from that purchase. In 2019, it truly is amazing how aware we all are of the impact that living has on the planet. We cannot all be perfect at living sustainably but we can all do our bit and look after ourselves and our planet.

If you’re interested in reading a little more about the accused greenwashing brands, check them out here:
https://www.truthinadvertising.org/six-companies-accused-greenwashing/
http://www.businesspundit.com/the-top-25-greenwashed-products-in-america/
https://organicallybecca.com/top-brands-that-greenwash/

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