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Unmasking Greenwashing: Don't Get Fooled by the Eco-Illusion!

1 June 2023

Have you heard of greenwashing? It's like a sneaky trick that some companies like to use to make their products or services seem super eco-friendly, even when they're not. The term "greenwashing" was born in the 1980s, but it has been spreading like wildfire in recent years as people have become more concerned about the environment & social responsibility.

Greenwashing comes in all shapes and sizes. One classic move is when a company claims their product is "all natural" or "eco-friendly" without any proof to back it up. It's like saying, "Trust me, it's good for the planet!" But what does that even mean? Why won’t they say more?.

Another trick up the greenwasher's sleeve is using ‘green’ & ‘eco’ colours and pictures. You might see lovely trees, blossoming flowers, or serene natural scenes in their ads, making you think, "Wow, they really care about our planet!" But stop and think for a second. Just because it looks green doesn't mean it's clean. It could all be a clever illusion!

Now, this is why it’s bad. Greenwashing is not only a bummer for the environment but also for consumers. When we fall for these clever & sometimes hidden in plain sight tricks, we end up making purchases based on false information. Imagine buying something you believe is eco-friendly, only to find out it's just a wolf in sheep's clothing. Talk about a letdown! That's no fun for anyone, and it can harm the environment too.

To avoid getting fooled by greenwashing, we need to be savvy shoppers. Don't believe everything you hear! Look for evidence that backs up those grand eco-claims and do your own detective work. Keep an eye out for fancy certifications or labels from third-party organisations. These badges of honour, like the ESG Mark or Ethy Badge, can be your secret weapons in the fight against greenwashing. They let you know the company is the real deal, as they’ve got the certificates to prove it.

Here's the good thing. Greenwashing can bite companies right back! When they play this game, they risk permanently damaging their reputation and losing the trust of their customers. That's no good for them. HSBC recently had their adverts taken off the air because they were riddled with greenwashing claims.

To avoid the greenwashing trap and earn consumer trust, companies have to come clean. They should spill the beans and be transparent about their environmental impact and provide proof to back up their claims. If they mess up, they should own it and work hard to make things right. By being open and honest about their eco-performance, companies can build trust with and create a brighter, greener future.

So, remember this: greenwashing is a sneaky game, & we need to know the tips and tricks to beat it. Ask questions, look for those certifications, and together, we can make smart, planet-friendly choices.