Words like ECO, green, or environmentally friendly appearing on a product are no guarantee that they are truly the best you can buy and protect the planet. Some is exaggerated, some is ignoring the non-green qualities, and some is purely to make a sale. A company pretending to be environmentally friendly when it is really not is called greenwashing.
There is not one source or seal to identify to a concerned consumer the for real green product but there are some websites that can help:
- Consumer Reports’ Eco-Labels app
- CorpWatch Environment names big-businesses that are green phonies
- The Daily Green
- EnviroMedia Greenwashing Index videos and ad ratings, green news, user commentary
- Environmental Science Degree for 100 websites for going green.
- Environmental Working Group identifies toxins and products to avoid
- Federal Trade Commission greenguides. On October 1, 2012 the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released the final 36-page Green Guides to "help marketers avoid making misleading environmental claims" to sort out legitimate claims from greenwashing.
- Green Living Online
- Greenpeace greenwashing updates on ads, industry investigations and solutions
- The Greenwashing blog
- The Guardian greenwash column Fred Pearce exposes false environmental claims
- Inhabitat Adrianne Jeffries writes "Is It Green?" posts about products and companies like IKEA, Fiji Bottled Water, concrete
- Terrachoice "The Sins of Greenwashing" report
- TreeHugger "Greenwash Watch" enviro-blog about company products
- The Unsuitablog
Watch the excellent attached video on how to spot greenwashing. Report any products or companies suspected of greenwashing to the Federal Trade Commission. In October 2013 the FTC announced six new enforcement actions including one with a $450,000 civil penalty in their "crackdown on false and misleading environmental claims." Support honest green companies by spending purchase dollars with them.