How To Spot Greenwashing On A Product
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Greenwashing is a practice where companies spin their products or policies to appear as environmentally friendly when in actual sense, they are not. This is done as a marketing ploy where the companies bend the truth to give a product a positive environmental approach.  The companies normally use their PR and marketing departments to appear as if they are adopting practices that are beneficial to the environment.
 
A good example is insecticide products on the market that contain pressurized chemicals with potential to kill nearly all crawling and flying insects in your home. If you have had cockroaches and other pests, you know how difficult it is to eliminate them from your home. Therefore, any product that can instantly kill these insects must be extremely potent and poisonous. Unfortunately, most of those products on the market are promoted as being environmentally friendly.
 
We however have to be very realistic here. Would the use of a poisonous chemical product capable of killing flies and cockroaches in one use be regarded as ‘environmentally friendly’? Wouldn’t the use of such a product pose a threat to the other beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies in the environment? Nothing can be further from the truth.


 
How manufacturers delude users
 
In the case of the insecticide, the companies claim that the natural ingredient is pyrethroid, a chemical compound that occurs naturally in some plant species. Such plants manufacture the compound on their leaves and flowers to deter insects that want to eat them. Insecticide companies argue that since pyrethroid is a naturally occurring compound, it is green. If the plants use it to protect themselves, isn’t it ok for us to use it in our homes to eliminate cockroaches and other pests? – The proponents argue. They also say that if the natural compound, pyrethroid, is ‘green’ in the field, it must be fine to spray it at home.
 
That logic cannot hold water. It is like saying that since tornados, volcanoes and hurricanes are a natural phenomenon, they are environmentally friendly. It is difficult to see how spraying a chemical that will harm insects is environmentally friendly. Insects have a role to play in the environment. First, they are responsible for pollination which is instrumental in the reproduction of plants. Secondly, insects play a big role in recycling nutrients in the soil.
 
Therefore, it beats logic how company’s greenwash products that are not essentially ‘green’. Researchers have found that most products on the market today are tainted by greenwashing.  However, the researchers found out that the average number of green products have increased in the last few years. To get more detailed info on green washing, visit on hyperlinked site.
 
What can consumers do?
 
As companies around the world take advantage of the new green, you may be tempted to wonder about what consumers are supposed to do to avoid being misled by the advertisers. The answer is simple: just evaluate the product.
 
For a product to attain the green status, it must have zero effect on the environment right from production up to its usage. Also, think of the ingredients that were used to make the product as well as the impact that they will have on the environment.
 
Having said that, the use of these chemicals has had positive effects on both the health and the well being of people.  For example, the use of Deltamethrin helped end tsetse flies in Africa. These insects were known for infecting humans and cattle with sleeping sickness disease. Similarly, DDT was used to eliminate mosquitoes from the USA in the 1950s. Although both of these applications were not green, they led to improvement in both health and the well being of the people.
 
Conclusion
 
The next time you see a green label on a product, think about what it means. Also, buy a pesticide because you want to get rid of the bugs and not because you think that the product is friendly to the environment.

Author(s): Henry thomas
Published at: 08 Nov 2021 12:00 GMT
Original link (login required): https://ilde.upf.edu/pg/lds/view/247527/