If you’ve heard of the term greenwashing, but with were not exactly sure what it is then you will want to read this article. Specifically, we will discuss what greenwashing is and what companies do to deceive you with greenwashing. After reading this article you should have a good understanding of greenwashing and be able to avoid being a victim of this deceptive form of advertising.
Greenwashing is the practice of companies disingenuously presenting their products as being environmentally friendly and safe. In essence, it is a practice of companies that are interested in taking advantage of the green and organic movements without investing the money and resources to legitimately be a part of the movement. They deceive you into believing that their product is healthy and pure when it is not.
Greenwashing exists in almost all segments of our economy including beauty products. The most common way that companies use greenwashing in beauty products is to misrepresent their ingredients. You will see the terms “natural”, “organic” and “botanical” splashed boldly on the front of the produce. Often you will find ‘aqueous infusions’ and ‘botanical extracts’ listed at the top of the ingredients list. These are both loaded with water and the purpose is to mislead customers into thinking that the product is organic or natural. The ingredients that make up the bulk of the product are hidden lower in the ingredients list in often include synthetic and harmful ingredients. Although it is prohibited under organic standards, the water component of the herbal mixtures is counted as organic. The purpose of this is to artificially inflate the amount of organic content in the beauty product so that they can meet the 70% required for the product to be labeled as organic. So, the companies present the product as organic when it is not.
Another common practice is to list the source of chemicals to give people a false sense of security. If it comes from something they know is pure, it has to be safe, right? As an example the chemical olefin sulfonate would be listed: olefin sulfonate (coconut oil). The purpose of this is to make people comfortable that what the product really contains is coconut oil. Would they don’t explain is a method of synthesis is the sulfonation of the olefins. This is the reaction of petrochemicals with boiling sulfuric acid. I don’t know about you but this doesn’t sound natural to me and isn’t something I want to put on my skin!
As with any growing trend in the marketplace, the growing popularity of the organic and green movements has led companies worldwide to attempt to jump on the bandwagon.
Rather than produce products that are genuinely organic and green, unscrupulous companies are attempting to present their products as safe through greenwashing. Consumers can protect themselves by not being fooled by natural or organic claims and reading labels carefully. The bottom line is if it’s not certified organic it may have chemicals in it that you don’t want in your body.
To learn more about greenwashing please visit organicrenaissance.com. There you can learn about important organic living topics like how to know if you need a body cleanse and the truth about organic cloth diapers [http://www.organicrenaissance.com/index.php/2009/12/organic-cloth-diapers/].