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Greenwashing; A guide

A person who cares about the environment will go to great lengths to purchase ecologically responsible products; to create the least amount of harm to the environment. However, there is a good chance that businesses will deceive consumers into thinking they are more environmentally friendly than they are. This deceptive sales tactic is called greenwashing. As an organization that strives to improve every day to become more environmentally conscious, we have created this guide to help you. Let's dive deeper into this subject, shall we?

Image Credit: All references from the image above are taken from the Instagram handle of waste-ed.com


Greenwashing has been prevalent since the 1980s, and it is only getting worse for the environment because of several brands' unethical conduct. This marketing strategy entails persuading customers that they make environmentally conscious decisions, primarily through using eco-conscious terms to persuade them that the product is more natural or healthier than its competitors. Companies that greenwash their clients spend a lot of time, money, and other resources selling the idea of "eco-friendliness" rather than ensuring that their products are truly eco-friendly and sustainable long-term. An example of this could be, Coca-Cola which markets itself as sustainable and environmentally benign while producing more plastic waste than any other firm. Likewise, Colgate has designed a recyclable plastic tube, as toothpaste tubes are generally made of a mix of plastic and aluminum and are challenging to recycle. Colgate's recyclable tubes, however, are a complete fabrication; the recyclable tube itself contains unnecessary plastic, and claiming that it is recyclable is purely a greenwashing sales strategy. These products are only industry recyclable and most often end up in a landfill, NOT getting recycled. H&M, a well-known fast-fashion retailer, is an example of this as well. The H&M Conscious line generated a lot of positive publicity, and many appreciate this step forward, but the truth remains that H&M continues to mass-produce cheap, low-quality apparel, and as a "conscious" brand does not justify or change that. These are simple examples, but there are a variety of more intricate approaches to greenwashing. However, by using terms like ‘eco-friendly’, ‘100% natural’, ‘recyclable’, and ‘organic and pure’, these businesses escape being blamed for environmental damage.


Greenwashing doesn't end with only the propagation of ideas but is much more. It may appear harmless, but it is detrimental because it diverts customers from authentic ecologically-sound brands. Genuine eco-friendly firms invest laboriously to ensure that their products aren't harmful to the environment, but they still obtain no benefit as a result of the diversion. However, consumers can discern the difference between legitimate and green-washed brands despite the gimmicks and choose their products/consumption wisely. Here are some pointers on how to go about it :

  • Familiarize yourself with standards and certifications: Knowing which ones to look for and which ones are hoaxes will help determine the best possible choice. Look for green certificates on their website or the product's label. Opt for brands that have the Energy Star (for energy efficiency), USDA Organic Seal (for organic products), Forest Stewardship Council (for products produced from trees in responsibly managed forests), and Green Seal (for products made from trees in environmentally friendly forests).

  • Do your research: These days, everyone claims to be working to minimize emissions and that sustainability is at the heart of their operations. However, examining the ingredients, the order in which they are, and the accusations on them will help you verify what they claim.

  • Test the brand yourself: Buy products after your research, seek companies that prioritize sustainability. Rather than purchasing a single certified-organic product from a company whose overall approach is otherwise inorganic, shop from a brand that makes the environment its priority. Choose a firm that is also open and honest about its business practices, invites consumer input and open communication, and publishes impact reports; these companies are transparent and readily provide more information.

Going green is no longer a novelty but a necessity owing to global warming and the environment right now. Even though Greenwashing is very prominent among brands now, it is not something all businesses do deliberately. ​But how do companies make sure they are not greenwashing their customers unintentionally and are making an effort to be environmentally conscious?

  • Sourcing Locally: The company should start by sourcing locally to support local businesses while also reducing shipping and storage costs. It also aids in the reduction of emissions and energy consumption. Local sourcing not only helps to promote green manufacturing.

  • Green packaging: Green packaging aims to utilize as little fossil fuel energy as possible to lower the carbon footprint of packaging manufacturing, and firms should make a conscious effort to conserve energy through it.

  • Reduced use of natural resources: Sustainable packaging or eco-friendly packaging made from natural+recycled materials helps reduce natural resources consumption. The businesses must also utilize fewer resources because they aid in the overall production process by minimizing manufacturing costs, lowering the cost of waste disposal to landfills, and diminishing the hazardous effect on the environment.

  • Building Sustainable Relationships: Building sustainability is another significant component to adapt to be a successful green company. Partnering with like-minded companies devoted to environmental responsibility can help a business thrive in its quest to become more environmentally friendly.


To know more about how we thrive to become a better company, our conscious attempts to avoid greenwashing, and our transparency, learn about the eco-friendly initiatives. We encourage you to eschew being #greenwashed, be aware, and help the environment by making the right choices. Let us go green and give back to the environment.


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