A report by TerraChoice Environmental Marketing exposes these six “greenwashing” marketing ploys to watch out for when shopping:
1. Hidden Trade Off: A refurbished plasma TV might reduce the need of buying new at first, but new or not, such TVs are energy hogs.
2. No Proof: Can a third party verify claims such as “organic” or “all-natural”?
3. Vagueness: Beware of products claiming to be “chemical-free” or “no hormones added.”
4. Irrelevance: Claims that have no relationship to the product or might be made with any other product in the same category, such as [chlorofluorocarbon] CFC-free shaving gel.
5. Fibbing: A falsehood that can’t be backed up, such as “certified organic” for products for which no such certification exists.
6. Lesser of Two Evils: An attempt to put a green twist on a product that’s inherently harmful to humans and the environment, such as organic cigarettes.