Today, when you go to almost any store, you will find some trace of the “green thing”. You may find energy efficient light bulbs at Home Depot, rechargeable batteries being pushed at stores like Best Buy, or the lack of plastic shopping bags at Costco. These are all signs of a changing environment for the average consumer.
Let’s go back a decade, did you see all of these things? I didn’t, but then again I wasn’t looking very hard back then. The real change is in the hearts of the consumer, but why is being green better? Is it cheaper, not always. Then how is it more beneficial to me? Maybe it is because it is more sustainable? YES!
Okay, now for the next part: what does sustainability mean? It means a lot, literally… from the way the resources for a product were made or obtained, down to the ingredients, manufacturing and distributing process, even things like employees having benefits such as health insurance. Most people do not realize this. So who is responsible for correctly marketing that Green product on the shelf? Sadly there are not enough third parties concerned to monitor the accuracy of manufactures green claims, so plenty of products loosely or falsely advertised as being “green” get by.
After reading Wendy Knowlers Blog Consumer Watch article “Any idea how ‘green’ that product on the shelf is?” about the same subject, I realized that “are we really making informed choices?”
The answer is NO. We are easily persuaded by marketing techniques, leaving the resposibility on the company to correctly and truthfully market their products, which doesn’t always happen. Case-and-point; recently Fair Cape spokesman retorted after being question about whether their products are actually “Free Range”
“We did not call the milk ‘Free Range’, we called it ‘Fair Cape Free Range’” – That is, Fair Cape’s take on free range.
This is the type of attitude that gets consumers in trouble, this company is playing the system. They are capitalizing on a popular terminology that is equated with being sustainable, when in actually there is nothing sustainable about how they treat their cows. This is a prim example of GREEN WASHING.
We try our hardest at Maxi to correctly market our products and stray away from Green Washing techniques practiced by plenty of our competitors. We don’t confuse you with the terms “Recyclable” vs. “Made from Recycled Materials” we are straight shooters, the straightest that I know.
Whether it’s about how your food was brought to table or what was previously in your Rain Barrel, make sure that you aren’t being fooled into buying a product that isn’t truly green. Beware: it’s a buyers market with little responsibility for green washing, companies find ways to creatively brand and sell their products catered to what the buyers are looking for, regardless if they are 100% accurate claims. The weight is on your shoulders, I suggest you equip yourself with a mobile app call GoodGuide (they also have a website, for all of you not currently on the Smartphone bandwagon) to determine before you buy how Good that product really is. You just have to scan the bar-code and wait for the products score to appear. I hope you check it out.
What do you think about Green Washing, has it happened to you? Please comment below to strike up a conversation with us!