Friday, March 7, 2008

Greenwashing Index

Thanks to Treehugger, I've found a great new resource for consumer education about environmentalism and greenwashing (making vague, misleading or false claims about a "green" product). The Greenwashing Index invites consumers to post and rate ads, and includes commentary by media experts that adds additional depth to the ratings.


Anonymous said...

What about a company that's greenwashing its entire image? Newsweek noted that "At the International Builders Show in Orlando last month, the plumbing company Kohler showed off ecominded low-flow shower heads and bathroom faucets—but across its booth, it also displayed gigantic water-hogging showers and whirlpool tubs nearly large enough to hold residents of Sea World." How can a company really be green if it is selling product that is anti-green?

Jo Paoletti said...

My short, personal answer is "it can't". However, there's a distinction worth making between a company that sells a few green products and claims to be green and a company which makes no such claim. IMHO, it is the former which is greenwashing, not the latter. would I prefer to buy green products from green companies? Yes. Would I be willing to encourage a manufacturer to expand its environmentally-friendly line by purchasing only those items and following up with a positive comment? Yes. Should we critique and expose companies who make inaccurate or false claims about their products? yes, yes again.