When I started learning about recycling, composting and products that are environmentally friendly, I was very overwhelmed. Then, I started learning more about what makes an eco-friendly product “eco-friendly.” However, I started noticing so many products had “ECO” written somewhere on the product but it wasn’t actually “eco-friendly.” Gracious! How am I supposed to save the world if the information provided isn’t entirely true?
It took me quite a while before I learned that “eco-friendly” is a term that isn’t monitored, kind of like how the recycling logo isn’t copyrighted. So that pretty much means that anyone could put “eco-friendly” on their product to sell the idea to the consumer that their product is good for the environment. It’s a real thing and it’s called ‘green-washing’. Big companies actually do this and can very well be pulling the wool over your eyes without you even knowing it.
Green-washing can make a company appear to be more environmentally friendly than it really is. Companies will change their packaging to have the consumer focus their attention on green manufacturing, recycling or energy saving benefits. They can also use words or pictures to make you think “eco.” Some examples are: “All Natural” or “earth friendly”, “Non-toxic”, “Cage-free”, “organic”, “naturally derived” or even “eco.” These all are words to hook you in if you aren’t a well-informed consumer. Not fair, right! So how are you supposed to know everything? Well for starters, check the ingredients list. If the list is LONG, then that is usually a bad sign. There is a reason, after all, that the EU has banned more than 1,300 ingredients not proven safe.
You should really take some time to learn your green products certifications. Yes, in some ways, it is like going back to school. BUT, it’s to help our planet so I feel that is time well spent. Green certifications are hard to obtain so just know not everyone should have them.
Here is a great, informative link to help you recognize certifications on products the next time you head out to the grocery store.
So why do big companies use green washing? Because right now, more people are becoming eco-educated and starting to shift their consumer purchases. Though, some are just following a “trend.” Either way, people are starting to become more aware of helping the planet. Therefore, in an effort to keep consumers, the big companies have begun to green wash, trying to keep you purchasing their items. We are very accustomed to convenience and low cost products at the grocery stores. But, one day, when we wake up & realize how much harm we are doing to the planet, just for our convenience, it’s time to speak up. Bottom line is, if consumers demand change then companies will listen. One voice can spark a loud roar.
I hope you are a little more informed on how to out smart the green washing companies & buy more TRULY eco-friendly products that are a safe for you and the planet. Reach out to the green washing companies and voice your concern. Tag me and I’ll help you, too! Super heroes stick together. That’s how we save the world.
Tag me on social media to be our #superhero spotlight and showcase your efforts to help #savetheworld!