Friday, April 22, 2011

Greenwashing: False "Green" Claims (video)

() For big business, going "green" has become the trendy and profitable thing to do: On the shelves of any store we can find products that boast "green" claims -- eco-friendly, energy-efficient, organic, partially recycled.

But how many of these claims do you think are either partly untrue or completely false? If you guessed that 99.9% are false, you are correct! It's called whitewashing, only it's green. But the only green thing about them is the money to be made as corporations go green with envy for natural product companies' gains in market share.

According to a study from Terrachoice Environmental Marketing, out of 1,018 common consumer products reviewed, only one product did not commit one of the "Six Sins of Greenwashing."

When looking for an eco-friendly product that actually backs up its claims by being good for the planet, where can we turn?

Unfortunately this study shows that these products do not exist. Here's why: According to Terrachoice's research, over 50% of products tested with "eco-friendly" labels fail to mention the enormous environmental drawbacks such as containing hazardous waste and travel costs.

These need to be factored in when considering to buy and eco-friendly product. For example, even eco-popular CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs) contain mercury. This means they cannot be thrown away in the trash. (They are hazardous waste that need to be disposed of properly or they will pollute the environment). Moreover, 90% of them have been manufactured and shipped from China! This is called the "sin of hidden trade-off" by Terrachoice.

Think of it this way. No matter which way you slice it, a can of soda will never be good for our health or the health of the environment. Diet soda has replaced the [14 teaspoons per can of] corn and cane sugar with an artificial sweetener that has proven to be an excito-toxin and a known carcinogen. In many cases the diet sodas still contain excessive amounts of caffeine, artificial chemicals: colorings, flavors, phthalates (from the plastic lining inside the aluminum can). Forget the nonexistent nutritional value of carbonated and sweetened chemicals harmful to our health.

When we factor in a manufactured can that needs to be recycled and the travel costs, what is the impact on our health and the environment?

But by calling their products "green," companies are making a mint. Let's take a stand against greenwashing.