Brainwashing by greenwashing

By Ananya Chaturvedi

8th August 2021

Greenwashing rhymes with brainwashing and whitewashing, doesn't it?It just not only rhymes with it, but it also functions in the same way. Greenwashingmay appear to be a neat business practice, but it is not when look into the details.Over the years, several companies that have participated in widespread greenwashing have made headlines.

Greenwashing rhymes with brainwashing and whitewashing, doesn't it?It just not only rhymes with it, but it also functions in the same way. Greenwashingmay appear to be a neat business practice, but it is not when look into the details.Over the years, several companies that have participated in widespread greenwashing have made headlines.

With the expectation that our need for sustainability as consumers is at the forefront of the transition to a greener and fairer society. But how do we stop being greenwashed?

There is this fine line between green marketing and greenwashing. Green marketing, as opposed to greenwashing, is when a company sells a product or service based on genuine environmental benefits. Green marketing is typically realistic, truthful, and straightforward, and it refers to products or services that meet the following criteria:
1. Produced in an environmentally friendly manner.
2. Produced in an environmentally friendly manner.
3. Produced in an environmentally friendly manner.
4. Produced in an environmentally friendly manner.
5. Doesn't have excessive wrapping and packaging.
6. Intended to be repaired rather than discarded.

However, green marketing can easily turn into greenwashing and it can happen when acompany does not adhere to the principles of sustainable business practices, mislead and deceivetheir consumers by labels such as"eco-friendly," "organic," "natural," “cruelty free”and "green."

Here are a fewexamples of corporategreenwashing:
1. Green computing
Latest technologies, in general, and specifically information technology sector, are major environmental allies. Since they allow us to do our work remotely and trendy “work from home”, they say they are helping in reduction of carbon dioxide gas emission. As a result, many tech firms proclaim technology to be the planet's holy grail, which is a bit of greenwashing and this is because most of the components used in the electronic devices are made of rare Earth minerals, whose extraction (through mining activities) is extremely harmful to the environment.
2. Zero-emission vehicles
In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, nearly every automobile company acknowledges the environmental courage of its electric, hybrid, or highly fuel-efficient vehicle models. These companies do "forget" to report the (rarely green) source of the energy used to recharge their much celebrated vehicle’s batteries, there are several complexities in recycling the environmentally damaging lithium-ion batteries used in the cars, and there are even cheating on emission tests and other "improved" data and figures, so in terms of reliability the situation could be a little skeptical.
3. Non-stick cookware
There is hardly any delicacy which can be cooked without oil.However, if you switch to “healthy” non-stick cookware, you'll be able to enjoy the same dish without using any oil. It's simple to keep clean, wash, and dry. Non-stick pots, on the other hand, have a Teflon coating that repels water and oil but it is extremely hazardous to humans. PFOA (perfluorinated carboxylic acid) is a chemical used in Teflon manufacturing that causes cancer and other serious diseases, despite claims that the non-stick utensils are food grade and healthy or safe. Just keep in mind that it isn't and cannot be.

Now that you're nearing the end of the post, the advice for you is to focus on the materials and their structure. Do the brand test: Rather than buying one certified-organic product from a company that doesn't make any other sustainable products, look for companies that make sustainability a priority.

Do your research and don't be fooled by the optics, don’t be greenwashed.