Every year, Earth Day is an opportunity to assess the impact of your actions on the environment. One way to make a difference is to limit your carbon footprint by supporting sustainable businesses.
Unfortunately, greenwashing has become more prevalent than ever. This term describes companies that misrepresent or overestimate the environmental benefits of their services and products. Here are three ways to tell if your favorite brands are greenwashed.
1. Generic language
It can be a red flag if the product you’re using has packaging covered in vague buzzwords like all-natural, non-toxic, sustainable, and recyclable. Unfortunately, these terms are not regulated by the government and can be used by any company, regardless of its environmental practices.
To find out if a product is truly sustainable, check the ingredient list or visit the company’s website to see if they can back up their claims.
2. Nice packaging
If a product has attractive packaging, it does not necessarily mean that it is eco-washed. However, many greenwashed companies use misleading images or earthy colors like green, brown, and blue on their packaging to appear greener than they are.
Don’t be fooled by pretty packaging. Read the label and look for official seals and certifications like the Green Seal label and Non-GMO Project Verified.
3. Sustainable ranges
Recently, a number of major brands have created green product lines in addition to their regular offerings. However, these products often represent only a tiny part of their overall production. Indeed, many big brands hope these initiatives will appeal to the masses, but the reality is that they didn’t magically become sustainable overnight.
Although some companies try to do their part for the environment, it is important to do your research.
This Earth Day, help protect the planet by finding out which businesses are truly sustainable and do your best to support them.