3 Important Facts About Greenwashing

30 Mar 2023 Environmental

Greenwashing is a deceptive form of marketing that is used by various companies and corporations to convince consumers that their products, aims, and policies are environmentally friendly even if they aren’t putting any real effort into sustainability or green practices. While greenwashing has been a tactic used by companies of all sizes for decades, the majority of consumers are unaware of these tactics because they don’t know what to look for or understand why greenwashing is harmful. That’s why the team at Change Plastic for Good has put together a list of 3 important facts about greenwashing to give consumers the information they need to make informed purchases and support truly sustainable companies.

3 Greenwashing Facts You Need to Know

When it comes to greenwashing, it is important for every consumer to know the following facts:

1. Greenwashing is More Common Than You Think

If you walk down an aisle in a grocery store or clothing store, you will likely see dozens of examples of greenwashing on product packaging or clothing tags. For example, claims such as “made with natural ingredients” or “made from recycled materials” are two of the most common greenwashing statements used by manufacturers of all sizes.

These claims are vague and often do not feature any proof or facts to substantiate them, making them a quick and surprisingly effective greenwashing tactic since many consumers take these claims at face value. When you see one of these claims on packaging, tags, or marketing materials, take the time to look for facts to back these claims up. Certifications from relevant governing bodies or citations from studies can serve as proof. If no such proof exists, these claims are likely false and nothing more than an attempt at greenwashing.

Learn about some common examples of greenwashing.

2. Greenwashing Can be Extremely Difficult to Spot

Despite its widespread use, greenwashing can be extremely difficult for the average consumer to spot. While the two examples above are easier to notice, some signs of greenwashing are subtle and easy to miss. For example, if a company or one of their products earns a third-party certification, they will likely display this certification prominently on their packaging and marketing materials. While these certifications are valid, they are typically from companies with lower standards.

For example, automotive manufacturers often receive their environmental or emission certifications from other automotive companies and organizations instead of actual environmental or green-focused groups. This means that these certifications are effectively meaningless, but the average consumer likely won’t know that. When looking for truly green products, it is important to seek out items that are certified by groups like Cradle to Cradle, Greenguard, Green Seal, EPEAT, Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade, and LEED.

Learn how to identify greenwashing.

3. Consumers Have the Power to Create Real Change

Since many companies continue to use greenwashing tactics, it is up to consumers to educate themselves and make truly informed choices. If more consumers hold greenwashing companies accountable and call out their greenwashing efforts via social media, this can create real change. This is especially true if these same consumers take action with their wallets and support truly sustainable companies instead. While combating greenwashing is not an easy task, it becomes much easier when more consumers join in by making informed purchases.

Learn what consumers can do to combat greenwashing tactics.

To learn more about greenwashing or Thunderforce, get in touch with the team at Change Plastic for Good. We can be reached through our online contact form and will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding BDP® or the movement to raise greenwashing awareness.