How To Uncover Wen Han Tsai Photo by Tax Credits (Flickr) Greenwashing In the 1950s, people believed that smoking was good for their health. Photo by Joe Plocki (Flickr) Whitewashing in advertisements existed back then Photo by Paul Townsend (Flickr) Photo by Justin Brown (Flickr) and it still exists now. Our society has become increasingly aware of our impact towards the environment. Photo by CIFOR(Flickr) Environmental sustainability has become a global concern. Photo by Giovanni Orlando (Flickr) Companies have taken note of this Photo by Keith Ramsey (Flickr) and used it for its own financial gains. Through greenwashing, companies claim to be eco-friendly through false advertising. Photo by Rizon Wonderlane (Flickr) And the problem is it works. Photo by Images Money (Flickr) In 2010, 95% of the self-proclaimed green products on the market have committed at least one greenwashing sin. Photo by Product Information Office (Flickr) The question is how do we expose these false claims? Photo by Adam Bindslev (Flickr) The answer by recognizing the various greenwashing sins. Photo by Jim (Flickr) Companies often label a product as eco- friendly based on a small set of attributes, Photo by Kim Seng (Flickr) while ignoring the ones that pose an environmental threat. Some products claim to be eco-friendly, without providing any accessible evidence. Photo by Sean Ganann (Flickr) Companies often use vague phrases, such as all-natural. Photo by Markus Stober (Flickr) An all-natural product can still contain harmful ingredients that grow naturally. Photo by John Morgan (Flickr) Also, dont be fooled by a product that has a third-party certification label it is often fake. Photo by James Wang (Flickr) A company may claim that their product is greener than the ones in its category Photo by Jonathan M. Brady (Flickr) when the category as a whole is detrimental to the environment. Photo by Eugenio (Flickr) However, the biggest greenwashing sin that companies commit is simply lying. Photo by Hans Vaupel (Flickr) So it is up to us, the consumers to differentiate between Photo by Markus Stober (Flickr) fact and fiction. Sources Cohen, Steven. The Push Behind Corporate Sustainability Management. Huffington Post Green. HPMG News, 25 Mar. 2013. Web 20 May 2014. Pearce, Fred. The Great Green Swindle. The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited, 23 Oct. 2008. Web. 20 May 2014. The Seven Sins. The Sins of Greenwashing. UL, n.d. Web. 20 May 2014. Photo by Kristian Niemi (Flickr) All images found from Flickr are under the Creative Commons License.