I remember how a while back someone questioned the cost of a bamboo toothbrush for they had seen one in our local dollar tree. I immediately asked if they could tell me about the packaging. Welp I had to sadly inform them that they had experienced greenwashing because the toothbrush was in one of those hard to open plastic packages (you know those you have to cut with scissors).
Greenwashing is defined as being an instance “When a company or organization spends more time and money on marketing themselves as environmentally friendly than on minimizing their environmental impact” (Business News Daily, 2020)
The term “greenwashing” was coined by Jay Westerveld in an essay highlighting how hotels claimed their encouragement of towel reuse to save the planet when they were actually focused on saving money.
Here are some instances within the Self Care (Beauty) Industry
- Company claims they are zero waste, but nowhere in their company information do they outline how handle manufacturing waste.
- Company claims they use natural materials but one of their ingredients is a synthetic chemical
- Product has “BPA-Free” on the label — but the government mandates those requirements so the company isn’t doing anything special.
Here are some suggestive tips to not fall prey:
The biggest takeaway is you have to do research — don’t just buy a product based on the company’s claim to be Green and Earth-Friendly.