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What is "Greenwashing"?

Posted by Peadar Rice at

How to recognise Greenwashing. Ethical Consumers.If you have bumped into our website or blog we would like you to know that we stock a wide variety of Green products for Ethical Ecofriendly Lifestyles. We have Household cleaners, natural Baby products, environmentally friendly shampoo and soaps, composting aids, energy saving, heat loss and water conservation products.  We don't engage in "Greenwashing" (please see our About Us page or keep reading.

So, if we claim not to engage in ‘Greenwashing’, what do we mean?

  

First we would like to clarify what is meant by ‘greenwashing’.  Companies sometimes label their products “eco-friendly” or “environmentally friendly” without them being so.  This is called “greenwashing” and certain companies use marketing campaigns aimed at environmentally conscious buyers to increase their product sales.  To avoid purchasing products that you may suspect as being “greenwashed” you can ask the supplier for facts and information which verify the products claims. We Do. The EU has initiated a voluntary scheme, whereby producers can attach the Ecolabel to products and services that have a reduced environmental impact throughout their life cycle, from the extraction of raw material through to production, use and disposal.

Qestions for Ethical Consumers to ask.And that is exactly what we have done when we offer you one of our products.  We have done the research to satisfy our selection criteria as well as talk to suppliers, talk to our customers (many times they are our friends as well) and ask questions to manufacturers. So, what is our eco-friendly, environmentally friendly or green criteria when choosing products we would like you to buy?

To begin, we research that has proper Eco-friendly qualities, for example, it does not pose harm to our Health and our Environment.  How do we know this?  Since we do not have our own lab (yet), we cannot check first hand all the environmentally friendly or eco-friendly claims; instead we rely on the information awarded by environmental agencies and NGOs that are watching out for eco-friendly assertions made by companies. 

So we look for products that are Environmentally friendly in their entire life cycle.  The questions we ask include:

  • What chemicals are used?  Are they synthetic (man-made) or are they natural? (please see our blog article).  We choose products made with naturally occurring chemicals. 
  • How are the natural chemicals obtained?  Are they from sustainable schemes such as Fair Trade, for example?
  • What materials are used for packaging these products?  Are they 100% recyclable?  How is the material obtained? Is the material obtained from sustainable schemes?  Can they be up-cycled? 
  • What other initiatives are the manufacturers/suppliers engaging with?  Are they promoting/engaging in environmentally friendly educational schemes?

We also look for products that do not harm our health and that are environmentally friendly.  There are many products that may not harm our health but they are manufactured with man-made chemicals.  We avoid these products even if they have an environmentally friendly policy.   So what questions do we ask?

  • Are the products tested on animals?  How can we verify this?
  • Are they allergenic free?
  • What type of packaging are they using?
  • What raw materials are they using?
  • Do they support sustainability?

As Consumers, we all have incredible power to force change. So keep asking those questions!

We would like to reiterate our willingness to answer your questions about us or the products we stock, or at least to point you in the right direction. 

Would you like to ask a question?


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