What is green-washing and how to spot it

Sandra Slawinski 7th February 2020 0 comments

I have learned sooo much this past year about climate change, zero waste, green homes, CO2 emissions, deforestation ( to name but a few) and green-washing. I had never heard of it before but I am sure I have fallen for the marketing trap.

GREEN WASHING – it is marketing spin on a product or company trying to persuade you it is environmentally friendly and better for nature but is is NOT. Basically washing it green, making it sound and look like a sustainable product. It is deceptive, unsupported, misleading and  unsubstantiated, it happens way more than you think but it is legal.

Cambridge Dictionary says greenwashing is designed “to make people believe that your company is doing more to protect the environment than it really is.”


1.DON’T LET THE PACKAGING FOOL YOU – read the label, don’t be fooled by pictures for farms, animals, fresh fruit or veg and natural colour use with browns, greens, and blues versus flashy bright colours.

2. CERTIFIED or NOT – if the product is healthy they will ve a certification, they will display it with pride and joy, it should not be hard to find.

3. DON’T TRUST SLOGANS – like ” 100% natural”, read the label as it is extremely rare a packed food item is all natural.

4. BIODEGRADABLE vs RECYCLABLE vs COMPOSTABLE  – the product that completely degrades in less than 90 days and leave no toxicity in the soil are composatable. Biodegradable means they break down possibly over 10.000 years . Recycling means you can turn the raw material into something else but still requires a lot of resources to do so.

5. TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE – trust your gut, and when in doubt GTS ( google that shit) check the website to learn more about the product and the company.

Written and photographed by Gabriel Lelievre without commercial deals.