Greenwashing is when companies or bands spend more time and money on marketing themselves as being sustainable than on ACTUALLY minimizing their environmental impact 😡 It's deceitful advertising to mislead consumers who are looking for goods/services from environmentally-conscious brands, and Treecard is strongly against it 🙅
So here are some things to keep in mind as you consider your next purchase 🤗💚
1. Don’t be fooled by green 🟢
Pictures of plants, animals and leaves, even the color green, these can all be tactics to make the product look more natural or eco-friendly. Often these labels are just self-declared things.
2. Pay attention to wording 💬
If a brand says that it’s made of 50% recycled plastic, then it’s still 50% virgin plastic
Be wary of buzzwords being used without substance.
Common greenwashing words are eco-friendly, green, all-natural, earth-friendly, non-toxic, plant-based, plant-derived, pure, raw, organic (without certification) - with no explanations/details, these words mean nothing. If you see a claim on the label, go to the product’s website - Do they have a lot of information on their green claim? The more vague and unspecific it is, the more likely it is greenwashing.
3. Familiarize yourself with recognized certifications ✅
Certified organic, independent certifications - carbon-neutral certification
Some trustworthy seals to look for on your products are:
- U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic certification: USDA certification is a reliable source due to their regulations and rules that govern how a product is made from growth to manufacturing.
- Green Seal: Green Seal is an eco-friendly nonprofit that develops standards for companies to comply with to be labeled environmentally friendly.
- Non-GMO Project Verified: The Non-GMO Project is not yet the official certification for identifying non-GMO products, but right now it’s the leading verification. Since genetically modified organisms are a newer concept, there is no official certification yet. The Non-GMO Project is a difficult seal to attain because it requires absolutely no GMO’s down to the cow, plants, and seeds.
- Fair Trade Certified
- Rainforest Alliance Certified
However, just because an organization doesn’t have a seal doesn’t mean it’s not sustainable. But a trustworthy certification gives extra assurance that it is.
4. Be wary of distractions 🐤🛢️
Sure, BP helped clean up little ducklings, but if not for their actions, those little ducks wouldn’t have been covered in oil in the first place.
Claims like recycled, environmentally-friendly or natural can distract from the more problematic, overall issue with the product. (Examples: “environmentally-friendly” pesticides or water bottles with smaller plastic caps)
5. Look for minimal/recyclable packaging ♻️
In many cases, companies using greenwashing tactics will still have their products in an unnecessary amount of packaging. Some may have a recyclable outer box but still be individually packaged within with single-use plastics, or vice versa.
thumbnail courtesy of Pexels