IS IT ECO-FRIENDLY OR JUST GREENWASHING?
Updated: Oct 10, 2018
I talk about this topic every day in my office because my clients are always asking me what products are “natural", don’t have harmful chemicals in them and are bad for the environment.
Going “green” is one of the fastest growing trends out there. It started in the early 2000’s and is growing exponentially every year as consumers learn more about the harmful effects of chemicals on our bodies and processes that are damaging to our environment.
This is great news for the eco-friendly consumer (which are most of you out there that read my blog). A ton of companies are scrambling to offer greener versions of their products to meet your demand. Sadly, many companies decide that it’s cheaper to claim to have environmental standards than it is to actually live by them, ugh! When a company misleads its customers about the environmental impact of its products or practices, it's called greenwashing. Greenwashing is NOT ok, put simply it’s lying so the consumer buys their product AND makes you think you are making an eco-friendly decision when in-fact you are not.
Greenwashing efforts can range from changing the name or label of a product to look like a “natural” product but really be one that contains harmful chemicals to multimillion-dollar advertising campaigns portraying highly polluting energy companies as eco-friendly i.e. large oil companies.
Here are a few tips to help you determine if a company is really eco-friendly or just greenwashing?
If you see some of these terms on the front label of a product, that should automatically trigger you to be skeptical. A lot of terms can be used in cosmetic products and are unregulated which means anybody can use them without them meaning anything! I know, shocking. Here are the terms I Iook for on the front of product labels that make me very skeptical and make me verify before buying.
Organic (look for a certification to make sure it’s actually organic)
Here are some product lines that are unfortunately are not being 100% transparent with their ingredients they like to call natural and processes. Some of these may surprise you. You can look on apps like EWG’s Healthy Living that grade food and cosmetic products for you or Think Dirty - Shop Clean that show you the bad stuff in products and give you even cleaner options. I love these apps because they help me continually learn what products are better for me and help me make better choices for me and the environment and that always feels really good!
Banana Boat Baby
The Body Shop
Clairol Hair Food
Kiss My Face
Neutrogena Pure & Free
Nivea Pure & Natural
Raw Sugar Living
Seventh Generation Simple
St. Ives SunBum
I hope this list helps guide many of my followers who care about the world we live in and the products we use every day in our homes and our lives.