Time magazine posted an article on-line this past Thursday about a marketing firm called TerraChoice. This firm went to big box retail stores to evaluate green marketing claims on the products sold there. Out of the 1,018 products surveyed, all but one failed to completely live up to their green promises. The words “nontoxic” were used vaguely and Energy Certified products did not show proof of certification.
This problem is something that we will continue to see more and more of, the article goes on to say. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been working this past year to specify the distinction between actual environmental claims and greenwashing, but this has been a difficult task so far.
The article goes on to mention two interesting sites to check out. One of them is Green Washing Index. This site lets viewers post ads that they feel are examples of greenwashing “and rate them on a scale of 1 to 5–1 is a little green lie; 5 is an outright falsehood.”
Another website is Terra Choice, which lists what they feel are the “six sins of greenwashing–six simple signs that should tip off consumers to a company that is more interested in selling the earth than saving it.” Take a look at both and be on alert for the imposters.