Do you buy into Greenwashing?
Don't be fooled by these 'green' labels!

Did you know?

Incinerating 10 000 tonnes of waste creates 1 job, but landfilling the same amount of waste creates 6 jobs. However: recycling the same 10 000 tonnes creates 36 jobs.

Don’t be fooled by Greenwashing

If your hearts’ in the right place in terms of making a difference to the environment that’s great, but don’t be fooled by greenwashing.  This is when companies deceive customers by giving their brands or products a positive environmental image when in fact there is little or no truth in the claim.  A study in the UK last year found 98% of products including toys, baby products and cosmetics are affected by greenwashing.
One easy misconception is assuming “natural” means the product has no harmful ingredients, so we buy these goods for our babies and children under the assumption that if it’s natural we’re doing the right thing and protecting our precious ones from harmful products.  However there are no actual standards for what “natural” means. So a manufacturer may have a product with a few good natural ingredients in it, but those natural ingredients may be combined with a variety of not-so-great synthetic ingredients.

Other signs that a product might be greenwashed include:

  • No proof. An assertion is made but is not backed up by any proof like a list of ingredients.
  • “All natural”. Natural ingredients also include things like arson, mercury and formaldehyde; none of these are necessarily good for you.
  • False Labelling. Just because the product has e.g. a smiley frog on it doesn’t mean it’s environmentally safe. This is simply misleading marketing.
  • Relevance. If a product boldly proclaims that it’s e.g. CFC free, that’s irrelevant as CFCs are banned anyway.
  • Lesser of two evils. For example if a cigarette is called “green”.  How can a cigarette be green? Smoking’s bad for you no matter what!

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