Whether you're "born to shop" or think it's just a necessary evil, you can stay ahead of the curve and make more sustainable purchases by avoiding the Seven Sins of Greenwashing.
You've probably noticed a lot of hype about "green" products. Maybe you even suspect some manufacturers are making vague and misleading claims about their degree of eco-friendliness. Bingo.
A study by TerraChoice Environmental Marketing tested more than 2,000 self-described environmentally friendly products in North America, and found only 25 were indisputably "sin free." The rest were greenwashing. That means about 98% of items labeled 'natural' or 'environmentally friendly' were in fact lying, or committing at least one of the seven sins.
How can you make sure you purchase the highest quality "green" goods?
According to the Greenwashing Report, household items like kids' toys and baby products, cosmetics, and cleaning products are most often guilty of greenwashing. Since we're focusing on getting toxins out of personal care products this spring, here are a few shopping tips to help you spot safer daily essentials:
- Choose products that do not contain any of the dirty dozen ingredients to avoid. Our new handy wallet-sized shopping guide will make your next trip down the soap aisle that much easier to navigate!
- Check out the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep cosmetic safety database, or go straight to their Top tips for safer products page.
- Curious about brands? See which companies have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics.
- Learn how to shop cruelty-free with Leaping Bunny's Compassionate Shopping Guide and see their list of partnering companies
Even if you're trying to do your part to be a savvy shopper by choosing safer products- what's really needed are smarter laws to keep toxic chemicals out of consumer products, and protect human health and the environment in the process. Take action and tell our Health Minister that you're concerned about toxic ingredients in your personal care products.
What are your tips and tricks when making smarter consumer choices?
Lindsay Coulter, Queen of Green