What Can Consumers do to Combat Greenwashing?

21 Mar 2023 Environmental

While greenwashing awareness has continued to rise over the past few years, many consumers are unsure of how to combat it once they spot the signs on packaging or advertisements. Though there is much that companies can do to avoid greenwashing, the reality is that most manufacturers and corporations choose to ignore these tactics or seek out new ways to present themselves as sustainable or eco-friendly without making any real changes. As a team that is dedicated to true plastic sustainability and greenwashing awareness, Change Plastic for Good knows that consumers hold the power when it comes to creating meaningful change. That is why we have put together some information to outline what consumers can do to combat greenwashing.

3 Ways Consumers Can Combat Greenwashing Tactics

To effectively combat greenwashing tactics, consumers must:

1. Understand What to Look for

First, it is crucial for consumers to understand the 7 sins of greenwashing. Understanding these sins makes it easier to know what to look for when inspecting packaging or advertisements, making it well worth the effort. For example, knowing about irrelevant environmental claims can help consumers quickly identify an attempt at greenwashing and allow them to look for alternative products from companies that do not use these techniques. As a general rule, it is worth looking for the following elements on packaging or within advertising campaigns:

  • Hidden trade-offs
  • A lack of proof or facts
  • Vague statements
  • Irrelevant claims
  • Blatant lying
  • Using false labels/certifications

2. Hold Companies Accountable

If a company utilizes any of the greenwashing techniques mentioned above, they should be held accountable for their actions by consumers. This accountability is crucial for forcing companies to make significant changes to their advertising efforts and their environmental practices. Consumers can hold businesses and corporations accountable via social media platforms such as Instagram. These are a great way to hold companies accountable as consumers can take photos of greenwashing attempts and tag the company in their post. Movements such as Thunderforce utilize these methods to hold various companies accountable for the claims they make about the products they produce or the services they offer.

3. Support Sustainable Companies

If a company uses greenwashing tactics, it is best to search for similar products from honest manufacturers or companies that are truly committed to sustainability. After supporting these companies by purchasing their products, consumers can even promote the brand via social media. This means that social media can be used to hold greenwashing companies accountable and promote companies that are working hard to be sustainable.

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.