Yesterday afternoon my phone rang, just as my daughter was waking up from her nap. A magazine reporter was on the line, we had a scheduled phone interview. Was it that time of day, already? Most of the questions were the usual interview questions about BPA, toxic products, mommy bloggers and my story of how I started going green and why. Then there was the question that stumped me.

“How do you deal with greenwashing?”

One might assume this is a easy question to answer but still as I’m typing this, I’m not sure I have a good answer. There is so much of it. The words natural, green, earth friendly, biodegradable…they’re all over print ads, television ads, the internet and product packaging. Every mom, every person, they have their own line drawn in the sand. Some feel if it is 50% natural, it’s better than nothing. Others are okay with a company making some green products and trying to be earth friendly while still manufacturing toxic products and some are not. I am learning that there are times I am making a choice instantaneously and that each product and company is different, like a person has to be looked at as unique. I am also learning that it is confusing. I was happy to see that the greenwashing index suggests, spotting greenwashing by using your gut and investigating a company and their environmental heritage. I definitely do this but why couldn’t I say that on the phone? Duh. It’s one of the biggest reasons I’m a Shaklee distributor, the deep environmental roots.

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So what is greenwashing? The EnviroMedia Site on Greenwashing sums it up nicely:

It’s greenwashing when a company or organization spends more time and money claiming to be “green” through advertising and marketing than actually implementing business practices that minimize environmental impact. It’s whitewashing, but with a green brush.

The real question is how to figure out when a company is doing this. I’m pretty sure this is why the question stumped me. There is an entire site dedicated to indexing greenwashing because one person alone can’t deal with this. I highly suggest you check out the greenwashing index for more information on why greenwashing is a problem and how you can become more keen at spotting it.

Why not? Great tips for free!

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