Greenwashing is a marketing trick used by companies when they exaggerate or lie about how eco-friendly their products are.
Here are 5 common greenwashing techniques you should look out for:
The colour Green has become irreversibly associated with environment-friendliness. By colouring the packages green, or their brand green, companies can nudge you to make this association and promote an eco-friendly image.
They can also use images of plants, trees, birds, or animals to try and promote an eco-friendly image, even if the image has no association with the product.
Descriptions like Certified Green, Eco-friendly, Natural and Sustainably Produced are unregulated terms. Companies won’t face legal repercussions for falsely using them. Don’t take these claims at face value!
Ecolabels are usually a sure-shot indication of a legitimate, eco-friendly product because they are only awarded after third-party verification. But because there is so much trust in ecolabels, a lot of fake ecolabels have come up, which is a case of greenwashing.
Some materials are biodegradable only when processed in an commercial composting facility, and this depends on your local waste management system. If you bury it in the soil outside your house, these materials will not decompose; they will behave like any non-biodegradable material. If companies don’t reveal which type of biodegradable material they are using, that is greenwashing.
Stay tuned for part 2, where I will give you 2 simple ways to check if a product has been greenwashed.