Are you a victim of Greenwashing?

Green-wash (green’wash’, -wôsh’) – verb: the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.

Have you ever been out shopping and opted towards buying an environmentally friendly product that may cost

Imagea couple of extra dollars? Did that product promise to be better for YOU and the environment?

Well next time you make the decision to purchase these products, make sure you are completely aware of what they really contain. More often than not, products that claim to be “Green” and environmentally friendly end up causing more harm than good.

If you take a look at your local grocery store you will probably be able to spot these products easily. Some of them include:

1. Dawn Antibacterial dish soap

It claims to help save wildlife by cleaning up animals affected by oil spills. However, the soap itself contains elements harmful to animals.

2.Vim PowerPro Naturals

The label on Vim PowerPro Naturals bathroom cleaner says 98 per cent natural ingredients. However, after inspection it turned out that the product includes a large component of petroleum based chemicals.

3. Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner

On the label, this cleaning product states it’s non-toxic. But aMarketplace expert determined that one ingredient in the cleaner, 2-butoxyethanol, is listed by Environment Canada as a toxic health hazard that can damage red blood cells.

4. Sunlight Green Clean laundry soap

This product claims to be made up of solely plant based cleaning products. However, tests conducted on this product proved that it is 38% made of petro-chemicals.

This is a  very small number of examples compared to the real amount of deceiving “Green” product. So next time you choose to purchase such items, make sure you are making an educated and informed decision. 

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6 thoughts on “Are you a victim of Greenwashing?

  1. I hope these type of observations force the government to start regulating and maybe even imposing a certain degree of environmentally safe ingredients to be used before someone can claim that their product is environmentally safe. Do you think they’ll eventually have to specify more clearly as to what exactly goes into making their product environmentally safe?

  2. I have heard of these issues before, but I am curious if there is a solution for those of us interested in buying “green” products. Is there a certification to look for, like there is a fair trade certification?

  3. Wow, I’m surprised reading about these products! I’m really glad you are talking about this topic, as I really think it needs to be addressed. I remember once stopping by a “Green Works” cleaning products stand at a local mall. I asked the sales representative about the product and how it’s “green”. Then I asked her, if the manufacturing of the product was “green” or if it had some sustainable aspects to it. She didn’t have much information to offer, which really disappointed me. Do you think such products that claim to be better, more environment friendly options, should also be “green” in their manufacturing and assembling process?

    • Rasha Abu-Meizer says:

      Great question Layla! I think it all depends on the claim the products makes on how “Green” they are. I personally would consider a product to be “Green” if, as you mentioned, their manufacturing and assembling process is green as well. However, in this world today , that is probably very difficult to achieve.

  4. Seham Khalifeh says:

    Great issue you raise here! I think there needs to be some sort of standard imposed in which you can’t call your product “green” unless it meets certain requirements. Otherwise you’ll have a product that uses biodegradable packaging but contains hazardous chemicals being labeled ‘green’.

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