Greenwashed products attempt to brownwash the public
byJun 24th 2008 12:00PM
The latest buzz word, if anyone's keeping score, appears to be greenwashing. It was a headline for a CNN article in the last week. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer had a story about greenwashing. Trenton, New Jersey's paper did a story as well. The Sun Herald in Biloxi, Missouri had their own article. Well, you get the idea.
Greenwashing is defined as making something appear environmentally friendly when it's actually not; Think whitewashing the truth, only you're greenwashing it. The "green" bandwagon is a popular one, and virtually every business would like to be on it, but some apparently try a little too hard (the photo with this post shows an example of what at least one reader, who put this on Flicker, believes is greenwashing).
This is why EnviroMedia has set up what they call the greenwashing index, to separate actual environmentally kind products from those that only pretend to be. If you see a TV ad that you think greenwashes a product, or a commercial about a product that really is truly an environmental wonder, you can log onto the site and compliment or trash the heck of aforementioned product.
If you log onto the greenwashing site, you can submit an ad and rate it, or you can just go look at some ads and rate them. If a commercial gets a 1, it's a fantastically environmentally-friendly product, according to the reviewers. If an ad has a 5, it's a joke, environmentally-speaking. It's an ad that greenwashes the product or service.
See, that's why I love this country. Any nation that has a web site where we can officially criticize commercials, even if they are limited to the environment. Greenwashing is a reprensible practice. When greenwashers go amok, they just confuse the public from focusing on what really is pro-environment, like this article, which was written without cutting any trees or using any fuel. You can also read this entire blog without putting smoke and pollution out in the atmosphere.
Geoff Williams is a business journalist and was just greenwashing, lest you somehow missed the subtle way he ended this post.
Read more about the browning of the green ethos-