7 Deadly Sins of Greenwashing

Don't get caught committing these seven deadly sins of greenwashing.

CE Pro Editors · August 27, 2009

Greenwashing is making false or dubious claims about whether a product or service is green, or how green it is.

Most consumers are wary of greenwashing these days, so don’t get caught committing these sins that eco-designer and consultant Michael Anschel sees most often.

Hidden trade-offs: Don’t focus on one thing, like energy efficiency, and disregard another, like a product’s toxicity.

No proof: You should have a third-party review of your claims.

False claims: Don’t lie.

Vagueness: Don’t stretch the truth with claims like “all natural” that includes naturally occurring mercury, for example.

Lesser of Two Evils: Don’t say, “Sure it’s toxic, but it’s also energy efficient!”

Irrelevance: Don’t take something good, like LED lighting, and make its ecological virtues irrelevant by overusing.

Label Worship: Anschel cites the NAHB’s “Green Approved” product label as one that is available to many products and does not indicate a green certification.

Related: 3 Steps to a Winning Green Business Strategy

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