Greenwashing is a relatively new term you might not be familiar with. It sounds good, doesn’t it? Maybe it means washing your clothes in environmentally friendly detergent. Maybe it means washing yourself with organic soap. Unfortunately, greenwashing isn’t either of these things. Greenwashing is what certain companies do to make themselves seem environmentally friendly. To which, Greenpeace and other concerned green groups might reply,”One green act does not make a green company”.
What is Greenwashing?
Green washing is when a company that produces environmentally devastating products, or has overwhelmingly destructive practices, decides to do something nice for a change. In other words, they try to get consumers to forget all the harmful things they have done to the earth by advertising how wonderful their new product, practice or service is for the environment. A good example would be how a certain bleach company is now making ecofriendly cleaning products.
Who is Greenwashing?
Unfortunately, greenwashing is catching on. Who is greenwashing? Practically everyone. From car companies to oil companies, everyone is advertising their newer, greener policies and products in an effort to make themselves look better to consumers. While it’s certainly nice of them to jump on the ecofriendly bandwagon, it’s not all good. In fact, greenwashing can be very bad in many ways. Greenpeace is even forming a group to stop greenwashing.
What’s So Bad About Greenwashing?
It’s great that these companies are doing some things in an environmentally friendly manner. Problem is, they still make the other products. That’s right, they haven’t stopped doing the bad things entirely. They’re just hoping other people will forget about the bad stuff they do because they advertise their good stuff so well. Greenpeace is one environmental organization that’s just not buying it.
Misleading Consumers with Greenwashing
Misleading consumers with greenwashing is a terrible idea. These companies brand themselves as environmentally friendly while continuing their not so green business as usual. Since they heavily promote their environmental efforts, everyone is supposed to forget about their main destructive product line. Isn’t it nice that BP is putting all that money into helping families impacted by the oil spill? Or is it just another example of greenwashing? According to Greenpeace, “As long as half-measures are sold as full solutions, corporate actions, no matter how sincere, will be nothing more than a more sophisticated form of greenwashing”.