When choosing products and services, it’s essential to be an informed consumer. It is especially true when it comes to sustainability and green living issues. Unfortunately, not all companies are as transparent as they should be about their environmental practices.
Some engage in what is known as green sheen. Green sheen occurs when an organization presents an environmentally friendly public image while engaging in harmful practices.
The green sheen is deceptive marketing often used to gain consumer trust and support for products or services that may harm the environment.
How to Spot Them
1.They Have Unsubstantiated Claims
One way that companies can greenwash their products is by making unsubstantiated claims about their environmental benefits. For example, a company might claim that its product is eco-friendly without providing any evidence to support this claim.
2.Products with Misleading Labels
Another way that companies can greenwash their products is by using misleading labels. For example, a product might have a “100% recycled” label when only a tiny portion of the product is made from recycled materials. Or, a product might have an “organic” label when it only contains a small amount of organic ingredients.
3. Using Ambiguous Language
Another common tactic used by companies involves using vague or ambiguous language. For example, a company might claim that its product is “sustainable” without defining it. They might use terms like “natural” or “eco-friendly” without providing any specific information about how.
Ho to Avoid Them
The best way to avoid greenwashing companies is to educate yourself about environmental issues and sustainability. When you know what to look for, it’s easier to spot a green sheen when it occurs. You can also support companies that are truly committed to the environment. Here are more ways to avoid such companies.
1. Do Your Research
Before buying any product, do your research to learn more about the company and its environmental practices. Look for independent reviews of the product to get an unbiased opinion. Also, check out the company’s website to see if they provide any information about their sustainability efforts.
2. Ask Questions About the Company
If you’re unsure about a company’s environmental claims, don’t hesitate to ask questions. You can contact the company to ask for more information about their sustainability practices. You could also post your question on an online forum or social media site and see if anyone else has more information about the company.
3. Buy from Trusted Sources
When possible, buy products from companies that you know and trust. This way, you can be sure that the company is committed to being environmentally responsible. You can also support local businesses that are more likely to be transparent about their environmental practices.
4. Check Third-Party Certifications
Third-party certification programs can help you spot these companies. These programs verify that a company is meeting specific environmental standards.
For example, the Forest Stewardship Council certifies products from responsibly sourced wood. The Marine Stewardship Council approves seafood products that are sustainably caught.
Avoiding Greenwashing Companies
Green sheen is a severe problem that can damage the environment. By educating yourself on how to avoid it, you can help make a difference. Strive to support companies that are committed to being environmentally responsible. Do your part to protect the planet and ensure that your purchase decisions support sustainable products and practices.