There are many companies out there that claim to be “green”. But are they really and how much impact does it have on the environment? Labels such as “organic”, “biodegradable”, “earth-friendly”, vegan and “Fair Trade” are everywhere in today’s market. These labels are marketing tools used to influence consumers.
Greenwashing is defined as “The dissemination of misleading information by an organization to conceal its abuse of the environment in order to present a positive public image ” and “superficial or insincere display of concern for the environment that is shown by an organization ” by thefreedictionary.com.
“Going Green” may not be what it seems. It is not necessarily good for the environment. The Green movement is not about the environment as much as about consumerism and political agendas.
While green products may be a better choice, they are still not enough to save the environment.
When green is applied to food, it suggests foods that have been grown with minimal or no pesticides, organic fertilizers, no growth hormones, and humane conditions. However, this belief does not always accord with the reality. The example that I will discuss is eggs . I have chosen this example both because eggs are part of our everyday diet and because they get much attention in the media. Many people chose free range, organic brown eggs , believing them to be vastly superior. Brown eggs are usually more expensive than white eggs. The only real difference between a brown egg and a white egg is that brown eggs are laid by dark hens with red earlobes. However, many consumers believe that brown eggs have been laid by hens who have been fed food grown with minimal pesticides and fertilizers or that white eggs have been bleached. Consumer Reports states that "color comes from the hens breed" . Consumer Reports also states a number of other misleading labels. For example, "free range" simply means that the hens have access to the outdoors. The USDA does not require any specific length of outdoor time. Similarly "cage free" , according to Consumer Reports, means that the hens do not live in cages, but do live their entire lives inside barns, usually in cramped conditions. "Pasture raised " chickens are those that may live in cages, though the cages are moved around the pasture. Consumer reports also points out that consumers often willing to pay extra for organic eggs on the belief that they are hormone free when actually all eggs are hormone free. Similarly, consumers will pay extra for organic chicken products, believing them to be synthetic hormone free, when the FDA prohibits synthetic hormones in all chicken.
Green cleaning products suggest that they use natural ingredients and are free of harmful chemicals. However, this is not necessarily the case. For example "Women's Voices for the
Earth" pointed out, eight out of 15 of the "Simple Green" brand products contain chemicals of concern. One such chemical group are...