Lately, I’ve seen a lot of products labeled with “eco-friendly” or “eco-conscious” when, in reality, the products are far from it. This money-grabbing tactic tricks environmentally concerned consumers into purchasing eco-damaging goods. It shows how corporations, who hold a great responsibility for the health of the Earth, don’t care about their impact. They care about money. A lot of the time, companies that have one of the worst environmental affects, are the most likely to spread marketing about how sustainable they are. Instead of spending funds on actual eco-friendly programs, companies inhumanly take advantage of consumers. It is important that people are conscious of what they buy and are able to look out for greenwashing.

Big corporations like Nestle, Walmart, Amazon, are often caught misleading costumers. Activists notice a small step towards “being green”, and soon realize the action is doing nothing for the environment, especially in comparison to the footprint they make on a daily basis. In 2018, Nestlé claimed they would have 100% recyclable and reusable packaging by 2025, in reality they had no plans to do so. It was simply for the media. Walmart paid a million USD to settle claims about misleading eco-friendly plastic packaging. Deena Robinson from states, “Half of the world’s disposable plastic has been produced in the last 16 years, and 91% of the plastic produced globally is not recycled. This is why companies making claims to be making “reusable plastic” are so harmful – we need to be creating less plastic.”

Besides packaging products, clothing and “fast fashion” is another big producer of greenwashing. Fast fashion produces clothes cheaply and at a very fast rate. They create clothes without considering the demand for the products. It is mass production. “Fast fashion is one of the biggest polluters on the planet, with more than £140 million worth of clothing ending up in UK landfills every year.” (Robinson) The best thing to do is to buy second-hand clothing. There is plenty of clothes already produced, and not enough people buying them. Buying second-hand means nothing is being wasted.

But luckily, since more and more light is coming to greenwashing tactics, there are ways to avoid buying false green products. Of course, you can always simply look up the product online before you buy it and look for red flags. Look out for companies that simply slap on the term eco-friendly. Look for companies that have claims that can be backed upon by scientists, research, and studies. There are also websites that list ethical products that are not greenwashing. Websites like Project Cece and Ethical Made Easy. Project Cece focuses on finding ethical fashion. Ethical Made Easy also looks for eco-conscious brands, including more affordable ones. There are also apps that promote sustainability and help shoppers shop more sustainably.

Overall, it is important we recognize what companies are truly environmentally friendly. Humans have a responsibility as beings on this planet to treat it with respect. And while every individual can do their part by shopping ethically, the corporations have a responsibility too. By rejecting non-ethical companies, they are forced to be sustainable. It is not all on us. It is the leaders of society who have the biggest responsibility. Do what you can to help our Earth.


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