Top 10 signs of greenwashing

By on 03/22/2010

  1. Fluffy language: Words or terms with no clear meaning (e.g. “eco-friendly”).
  2. Green product vs. dirty company: Such as efficient light bulbs made in a factory that pollutes rivers.
  3. Suggestive pictures: Green images that indicate an unjustified green impact (e.g. flowers blooming from exhaust pipes).
  4. Irrelevant claims: Emphasizing one tiny green attribute when everything else is not green.
  5. Best in class: Declaring you are slightly greener than the rest, even if the rest are pretty terrible.
  6. Just not credible: “Eco-friendly” cigarettes, anyone? “Greening” a dangerous product doesn’t make it safe.
  7. Jargon: Information that only a scientist could check or understand.
  8. Imaginary friends: A “label” that looks like a third-party endorsement — except that it’s made up.
  9. No proof: It could be right, but where’s the evidence?
  10. Outright lying: Totally fabricated claims or data.