Greenwashing = Whitewashing Claims of Being Green

Greenwashing refers to companies who use misleading eco-friendly claims to promote their products or services, but don’t follow through with established energy efficient practices and reduced waste.

With all the environmentally conscious consumers out there, many companies are endeavoring to convince buyers that their products or practices have a minimal impact on the natural world. But sometimes these claims are disingenuous. How do you know? You can check out companies’ claims and advertisements at Green Washing Index. 

It’s important to understand that it is possible to take a long-term, sustainable approach to building and home design and to realize that we can live here without diminishing the earth. By planning for future generations we can reduce our impact and live more responsibly.

The best part is that this can be done without reducing our own comfort or having a significantly negative impact on our own lifestyles, but rather by efficient use of resources and reduction of waste.

TerraChoice Vice President Scot Case wrote a report about "The Six Sins of Greenwashing" regarding the misleading claims made by companies. In it he highlights six ways that companies deceive consumers into thinking that the companies are green:

  1. Sin of the Hidden Tradeoff 
  2. Sin of No Proof
  3. Sin of Vagueness
  4. Sin of Irrelevance
  5. Sin of Fibbing
  6. Sin of the Lesser of Two Evils

According to a new report by TerraChoice Environmental Marketing, nearly every green product on the market is making claims that are either inaccurate, inappropriate, or unsubstantiated.

By staying informed and closely evaluating business practices it’s possible to identify false claims and hopefully influence companies to promote truly true green practices. 

Don't simply accept the claims of a company promoting themselves as being green or environmentally-friendly without doing a little research to see exactly how their claims stand up. Check them out at Green Washing Index to see if they are truly being environmentally responsible or if they are guilty of one of the six sins.

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Green Building Guidelines
Six Key Aspects of Green Building
Log Cabins: Ultimate Green Building
Tips for Green Building
What is Greenwashing?
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