What You Need to Know About Greenwashing

As more people learn about the importance of protecting the environment, this awareness comes with its advantages and disadvantages. Some of these advantages include more care and action towards solving climate issues. On the other hand, the more people talk and bring attention to topics such as climate change, the higher the risk that this awareness could be used to take advantage of others and the earth. A prime example of such disadvantages is greenwashing – which is the subject of this article.

Greenwashing is a term used for when companies claim to be taking action against environmental issues, but do not follow through with these actions or may often harm the environment instead (Edwards, n.d.). Companies have been doing this more often as people are becoming more aware of the environmental issues affecting our planet, in order to pertain to this audience and benefit themselves profit-wise (Noyes, 2021). What’s frustrating about this issue is that so much money is poured into marketing these products to be environmentally friendly when this money could be spent towards actually making positive changes (Edwards, n.d.).

Greenwashing is a term used for when companies claim to be taking action against environmental issues, but do not follow through with these actions or may often harm the environment instead (Edwards, n.d.). Companies have been doing this more often as people are becoming more aware of the environmental issues affecting our planet, in order to pertain to this audience and benefit themselves profit-wise (Noyes, 2021). What’s frustrating about this issue is that so much money is poured into marketing these products to be environmentally friendly when this money could be spent towards actually making positive changes (Edwards, n.d.).

Some examples of companies greenwashing include Mentos, who have advertised their packaging to be made of cardboard but do not address the fact that the packaging is not recyclable as it has aluminium and plastic as well (Laville, 2022). Another example includes socialite Kim Kardashian’s clothing brand Skims, which has largely been advertised for its  compostable packaging, but fails to mention that the product is made of plastic and polyethylene (Laville, 2022).

Take Action!

Overall, greenwashing is an incredibly damaging and concerning issue that is occurring. You may even own a greenwashed item yourself without realising. In order to avoid this, you can take some steps before purchasing an item such as doing further research, paying attention to their marketing language and if there is substance to their claims, and checking if products are associated with trusted certifications (Noyes, 2021).  If you want to take this a step further, you can educate yourself and those around you on greenwashing as well as calling out companies or even boycotting brands to pressure them into making real change.

References 

Edwards, C. (n.d.). What is greenwashing, and how do you spot it? Business News Daily. Retrieved August 4, 2022, from https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/10946-greenwashing.html 

Laville, S. (2022, June 30). Coca-Cola among brands greenwashing over packaging, report says. The Guardian. Retrieved August 4, 2022, from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jun/30/coca-cola-among-brands-greenwashing-over-packaging-report-says Noyes, L. (2021, December 31). A guide to greenwashing and how to spot it.

EcoWatch. Retrieved August 4, 2022, from https://www.ecowatch.com/greenwashing-guide-2655331542.html

Aksa Ahmed
No Thoughts on What You Need to Know About Greenwashing

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