Combating the Scourge of Greenwashing

Green marketing has never been more popular, but not all green claims are created equal. Businesses are increasingly cognizant of the value of socially and ethically conscious consumers. Between 2007 and 2009, the in-store availability of "green" products has increased between 40 percent and 176 percent. Globally, the market for sustainable products and services is worth US$550 billion per year and this number is expected to keep growing.

Social and environmental concerns are driving buying decisions. People are seeking ways to mitigate their guilt, and many businesses are more than happy to oblige them. However false or misleading green promises are detracting from the credibility of those who are sincere about sustainable business practices.

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Tags: consumer protection, environmentalism, green, green products, greenwashing, marketing, sustainability

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Replies to This Discussion

Is there a website for rating claims of greenness? We should not be shy about telling store managers if the products they offer fall short of the mark.
I read some of the Care2 materials, and I note that a lot of legitimate green science is mixed up with or co-opted by New Age charlatans. An example would be all the people who write little articles about avoiding real toxins, such as pesticides, but then segue into trying to sell you their "detox" book/product/clinic. In case you're wondering, the only true way to remove serious toxins and metals from your system is with dialysis or chelation therapy. If your kidneys or liver are actually having a problem removing something from your system, you'll know about it immediately and painfully.

I buy some groceries at Bloom and Giant, because they're close. They offer reuseable bags and expensive "green" cleaning products, but I never see vinegar and baking soda being offered as cleaning products, and never any meat or produce that I can identify as locally produced, in spite of being surrounded by farms. Your receipt has a customer satisfaction survey url on it, use it!
There is a website, but I'm going to have to think what it is. The name escapes me at the moment. Maybe someone else will know.


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