How to Spot the Advertising on Greenwashing

Ofgem recently released their nine point plan on how to decarbonize the United Kingdom and a central part of the report is greenwashing, the practice of making unsubstantiated claims about the eco-friendliness of a product. It’s by no means a new marketing strategy, consumers still seem to care about the impact on the environment. The cost of a particular stock usually fluctuates with news of their environmental impact. There are many brands are guilty of this, and consumers fall for it. 


You need to pay attention to specific buzzwords like “natural,” “green,” and “eco-friendly.” While these phases don’t mean much, brands use them to great effect. Products using these buzzwords really do sell better, it has been proven again and again. While it goes without saying that people typically want to buy from a company that cares about the environment, greenwashing is an easy way for a company to capitalize on the trend without putting the effort in to do better. Using more expensive production methods and materials, companies can more easily throw a buzzword onto their packaging to reap the benefits. 


You should always take a look at the ingredients of the product. According to the energy comparison site MoneyPug, a general rule is that the fewer ingredients the more “green” it will be. Check the labeling before buying something, if they have anything you can’t pronounce, it is probably not eco-friendly. Ingredients that come from nature are what you should be looking for. You can always check to see if the ingredient you don’t know is natural. You will probably find synthetic materials in some of the ingredients, indicating that the product is nowhere near 100 percent natural. 

Product Life Cycle

When a product is made from 100 percent natural materials may not be recyclable. A different one that is completely recycled content may not even be sustainably, or ethically, sourced. Items that are locally made, which can go beyond the carbon cost. The transportation is key. It could also be made with questionable materials or ingredients from abroad. This rarely tells the whole story, the waste is large in all of these products. It can happen every step of the way, from pre-production to post-production. 

Research is necessary to consider the future of a product before they buy it. It doesn’t matter if it’s local, organic, or recycled. Packaging is another imperative to think about. It is also important to think of how long you can keep this product. 

Companies & Environmental Woes

With the aggravation of environmental issues, companies have sought development and commercialization of green products. On one hand, it is great that eco-friendly products are reaching the mainstream but this is not always a good thing. This leads to businesses exploiting the popularized market and taking advantage of the consumers who will buy something without even thinking about it. It is easy to fool consumers. According to a study by Springer Open, companies have used greenwashing to mislead their stakeholders. The report showed that it is possible to highlight and catalog the types of greenwashing with a structure based on the type of greenwashing it is 

Don’t Need it, Don’t Buy It

The rule with consumerism is that if you don’t need it you shouldn’t buy it. If you are questioning whether or not you should buy it, just don’t buy it. You should always think about the intention of the company. How much will they make from this? How will it help change the world? When you begin to pay attention to the way it works, you will be a lot less likely to buy something you shouldn’t buy it. 

Nobody wants to buy products that are misleading, it is always about paying attention to what you are buying. There is no reason to overpay for a product that is being marketed as green. When you take an interest and look into the way products are made and how they are being advertised, you will begin to see the whole story. Companies will always try to trick you, don’t let them. Keep on guard and know what to look for in a fake product. You can see through the lies. 

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