As an eco-conscious consumer, you want to ensure that the money you spend goes towards companies and products that align with your values. But it can be challenging to determine which brands are genuinely sustainable and which are just trying to greenwash their image. So how can you avoid being duped by deceptive marketing?
This blog will provide five tips to avoid greenwashing and ensure your purchase supports a sustainable future.
What Is Greenwashing?
Greenwashing is the deceptive practice of making false or misleading claims about a product or company’s environmental sustainability to gain a competitive edge or boost sales. It can take many forms, but some common examples include using vague or misleading language on labels, marketing a product as “eco-friendly” when it’s not, or exaggerating the environmental benefits of a product.
Greenwashing is a severe problem because it misleads consumers and makes it harder for them to make informed choices about which products and companies are eco-friendly. It also undermines the efforts of businesses that are genuinely committed to being environmentally responsible.
How to Avoid Greenwashing
With the rise of consumer awareness around environmental issues, greenwashing has become increasingly prevalent. A study by TerraChoice found that 98% of green product claims are false or misleading. So how can you safeguard against being misled by greenwashing?
Here are five ways you can avoid greenwashing:
1. Do Your Research
When you’re considering a purchase, take the time to do some research on the company and product beforehand. The company’s website is an excellent place to start – look for information about their sustainability initiatives, supply chain, and any certifications they may have. You can also check out independent ratings and reviews from sites like EWG to get an unbiased assessment of a product’s safety and environmental impacts.
2. Be Skeptical of Vague or Superlative Claims
If a product claim sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of terms like “eco-friendly,” “all-natural,” or “biodegradable” that are used without providing any specific information about what makes the product environmentally friendly. These terms are often meaningless or misleading, so look for hard facts and figures that support the claim.
3. Avoid Greenwashing Certification Logos
A product with a green certification logo doesn’t mean it’s eco-friendly. While some reputable certifications exist, many others are easily obtained and don’t have strict standards. In some cases, companies will create fake certification logos to greenwash their products.
If you want to be sure a product is genuinely eco-friendly, look for objective third-party certifications from reputable organizations. These certifications verify that a product meets specific environmental or safety standards. Some examples of well-respected certifications include the B Corp Certification, Fairtrade Certification, and the Forest Stewardship Council’s FSC Certification.
4. Consider the Whole Product Lifecycle
When evaluating a product, it’s essential to consider the entire product lifecycle, from production to disposal. Some products may have a low environmental impact in manufacturing, but their overall impact is much higher if they’re not recyclable or compostable.
When looking at products, try to find ones made from sustainable materials like bamboo or coconut that are compostable at the end of their life. This information should be readily available on the product’s packaging or website.
5. Vote With Your Wallet
The best way to combat greenwashing is to vote with your wallet and support companies that are genuinely committed to being sustainable. When you make responsible purchasing decisions, you send a powerful message to businesses that eco-friendly practices are important to consumers.
You can also use your voice to call out companies that engage in greenwashing. If you see a product or company you suspect is guilty of greenwashing, let them know. You can reach out to the company directly or take to social media to raise awareness and help educate other consumers.
Shop with Confidence
Greenwashing is rampant in the marketplace, but there are steps you can take to avoid being misled. By researching, being skeptical of vague claims, and considering the whole product lifecycle, you can be a more informed and eco-conscious consumer.
At Eco Warrior, we are committed to making your sustainable purchasing decisions as easy as possible. Our products are ethically sourced from sustainable brands, so you can shop confidently, knowing that every item in our store is truly eco-friendly. And every product on our website offers the product’s end of life so that you can feel good about your purchase from start to finish.
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