Greenwashing: How Large Corporations Deceive the Public.

In a capitalistic economy, companies are always competing to find ways to gain new customers and striving to meet the trends and demands of their consumers. The act of greenwashing comes with no surprise, especially with the growth of the sustainability and the eco-friendly movements. Greedy corporations across the world attempt to capitalize on the growing demand for environmentally conscious products by deceiving their consumers. It's important to understand what greenwashing truly is and how to stay clear of  it.

  1. 1. What is Greenwashing?

    Greenwashing is the corporate practice of making products appear more eco-friendly than they are through clever marketing campaigns. Companies invest lots of money into marketing ploys and advertisements in order to gain the reputation of being a sustainable brand. But greenwashing does not just stop there. Companies also greenwash by renaming, rebranding, and repackaging products with the colour e green to achieve the goal of conveying the idea that they are a natural or environmentally conscious company.  In the end, greenwashing does more harm than good.

  2. 2. What is the problem with greenwashing?

    Greenwashing is harmful and unethical. It leads to the spread of misinformation and hinders and harms the sustainability movement. More and more people prefer to buy environmentally friendly products, making greenwashing a powerful marketing tool for corporations. Brands distract consumers from their history of misconduct through capitalizing off the growing trend of being environmentally conscious and following a sustainability lifestyle. Greenwashing misleads consumers into thinking that the purchase of certain products isg sustainable when it might actually be the opposite. As brands label themselves as eco-friendly without doing the work, they purposely deceive their consumers and contribute to harming the Earth. Greenwashing done by corporations harms the goals of the sustainable movement.

     

  3. 3. How to avoid falling for greenwashing.

    black lives matter protester holding sign

    In order to avoid supporting greenwashing initiatives it's important to understand what greenwashing actually looks like. Brands will claim to be more natural, healthier, free of chemicals and even recyclable in order to appeal to an environmentally conscious population. It's crucial as a consumer to research what brands you are contributing to and understand whether certain products are what they say they are. Brands will claim to be sustainably/ethically sourced while actually having exploitative practices in place.  

  4. 4. Where We Go From Here

    Not all companies carry out unethical greenwashing practices, which is why as a consumer, it's more important now than ever to do some research on the brands you want to support. Consumers have the power to support ethical and sustainable businesses. Today more than ever, it's imperative to educate yourself on where your products come from, how they are made, and what goes into them. Leading a sustainable life isn’t something that happens overnight; sustainable living takes time. It's crucial to understand that sustainability isn’t supposed to be perfect but it's something that happens gradually through making a conscious effort to educate yourself.