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The Seven Sins of Greenwashing

July 2, 2020
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Greenwash – verb: the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product of service.

More than ever before, consumers are clamoring for ‘greener’ products. To take better care of their families and their planet, they want goods and services that are genuinely more sustainable (‘greener’ in other words); products they can find easily, trust implicitly, and use effectively. Manufacturers and marketers are trying to meet this demand. Green advertising has increased almost tenfold in the last 20 years and has nearly tripled since 2006.

Yet, there are more products claiming to be green on the shelves of stores these days, and those ‘all-natural’ and ‘organic’ products are likely committing at least one of the Seven Sins of Greenwashing, by not telling the complete truth. TerraChoice Environmental Marketing recently released its Seven Sins of Greenwashing report, finding that 98% of products are committed to at least one Sin of Greenwashing.

The Seven Sins of Greenwashing, from most common to least common, are:1. The Sin of the Hidden Trade-Off 2. The Sin of No Proof 3. The Sin of Vagueness 4. The Sin of Worshiping False Labels 5. The Sin of Irrelevance 6. The Sin of Lesser of Two Evils occurs 7. The Sin of Fibbing

Consumers have to be skeptical of all the environmental claims, and practice smart and savvy shopping. Consumers can help by continuing to support greener products and choosing products with reliable eco-labels. In the absence of a reliable eco-label, consumers should choose the product that offers transparency, information and education.

For more information on what you as a consumer can do to avoid these problems, continue reading the full text article of The Seven Sins of Greenwashing.