What is Greenwashing and How To Spot it!

Who’s heard of Greenwashing? If you haven’t here’s a quick definition;

Green washing is the use of false environmental claims with pictures or words such as ‘natural’ or ‘ethical’ as a marketing spin to imply their product is Earth friendly, sustainable and basically, as green as it can be.

Now, for people who want to do their bit for the environment this is very frustrating as finding and using alternatives already has its barriers without multi billion pound companies use these eco ‘buzzwords’ without much legislation.

How to spot Greenwashing:

  1. Ignore the packaging with those misleading buzzwords such as ‘recyclable’ and the vague use of ‘eco’ and read the label.

2. Don’t be fooled by branding. its easy to be swayed by the little green leaves and happy little Earth images but do your research.

3. Find proof of green practices – get familiar with spotting those words that don’t really mean anything until proven that their values helps them to make sure that they are doing all that they can to operate sustainably.

4. Beware the slogans! Here’s a shocking example:

LUSH – now you’d be led to think when you walk into the store that its a vegan cruelty-free paradise. Now only part of that is true. LUSH are very dedicated to not testing on animals but 33% of their products are not suitable for vegans. That means some products are not free from any kind of animal extract.

And have you ever wondered why you can smell LUSH from a mile away?

I’m sorry to say but its due to the use of potent parfums and parabens so their products have a longer shelf life.

You want to know more right…?

Let’s talk about McDonalds – In June 2018 the multi billion dollar fast food chain made the switch from plastic straws to paper straws. However, eagle-eyed milkshake slurpers called them out as not actually being recyclable.

McDonald’s has since stressed the straws are made from recyclable materials, but current recycling infrastructure does not allow for them to be processed by recycling plants.

So what can you do next time you swoop in for a happy meal? Say no to straws and use your own reusable one. As well as metal straws you can get handy foldable silicone ones for out and about.

Ready for another shock?

Be warned the next image can be distressing and upsetting!

Not all L’Oreal products are 100% vegan meaning some of their products contain animal-derived ingredients or animal by-products such as egg white, mink oil, beeswax, honey, and other animal by-products.

Lets check your greenwashing skills:

“in 1989, L’Oréal was able to end all testing of its products on animals, without making our products any less safe. Since March 2013, the Group has taken another decisive step: The Group no longer tests on animals, anywhere in the world, and does not delegate this task to others. An exception could be made if regulatory authorities required it for safety or regulatory purposes.”

Did you spot the greenwashing in this policy?

The L’Oreal animal testing policy states they test their products on animals where required by law.

Right so lets dig a little deeper….

Required by law animal testing means that the brand is allowing animal testing to occur on their products due to various laws and regulations around the globe. These laws may apply to ingredients, formulations, or finished products. They could also happen pre-market (before the products are available to consumers) or post-market (after the products are available to consumers).

The truth is there are so many alternatives to all these wonder creams, lotions and potions!

Take a look at our vegan, organic natural solid deodorant:

With your new greenwashing skills, which products are you going to choose???

All our alternatives are available in our Sustainable Swap Shop including the deodorant shown above:

SUSTAINABLE SWAP SHOP: Between Green (between-green.com)

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