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Have you heard of “greenwashing”? This is a really sneaky tactic used by companies, and I don’t want you to fall for this trick. By the end of this post you’ll be able to avoid getting duped!
 
You may have noticed that the natural beauty/clean beauty market has boomed in recent years. More and more existing companies are jumping on the bandwagon, and new companies sprouting up everywhere. In general, this is great, because we have more healthy, non-toxic, products to choose from.
 
But, “greenwashing” essentially takes advantage of our *assumptions* about what products will be safe and non-toxic through a variety of means — mainly the use of marketing (key words, design elements, etc) to make us think a product is safe, when it may not be much better than the conventional product on the shelf next to it. 
 
 
What do I mean by this? I mean companies making products that ARE NOT non-toxic, are marketing their products as a non-toxic and safe. UGH!
 
 
 
Let’s walk through what to look for.
 
 
What kind of keywords do companies often use to “greenwash”?
Organic
Natural
Clean
Herbal
Safe
What kind of design might companies use to greenwash?
-Nature themes like leaves and flowers
-Graphics that resemble companies *actually* making safe products (copy-cat design)
 
 
This practice is deceptive, and it lulls potential customers into a sense of security and complacency.
 
 
 
Greenwashing can be done in many ways.
 
Let’s walk through an example:
I found this product in the ‘natural deodorant’ section at Target. What greenwashing tactics do they use?
 
 
 
1. Their brand name is very earth-friendly-sounding.
 
 
2. They have plant/nature-oriented imagery.
 
 
3. They highlight their “no aluminum” formula, and also brag about their long lasting fragrance as though it’s a benefit (it isn’t, health-wise).
 
 
 
And while they do have a lot of good things going for them (no animal testing, no parabens) this isn’t truly a non-toxic product because they use fragrances.
 
 
 
So, while they seem like a really great natural product at first glance (and they ARE better than most conventional products!) it’s still a bit deceiving unless you take the time to read the ingredient list and pay attention to their claims. 
 
This is just one example. This practice is widespread across a lot of products! You will find companies using greenwashing tactics in all other personal care product categories, cleaning products, etc.
 
How do you avoid getting duped? Here’s what I recommend:
 
— Learn what chemicals or phrases are red flags.
 
 
 
— Take a moment to read the label and the list of ingredients.
 
 
 
— Exercise caution when you see a product that ‘looks good’. They may be intentionally trying to trick you with greenwashing!
 
— Find companies that uphold a strong standard of health and safety, and stick to them as much as possible. Doing this helps minimize the amount of label-reading on a given trip to the store.
 
— Continue your education, by reading blogs like this one, or doing your own research. But beware, the internet has a lot of shady sources!

Do you want to get the lo-down on what chemicals and phrases to watch out for when you’re buying products? That’s a major part of my coaching! I would love to help you make smart choices while shopping for you and your family! Book a free conversation with me to learn more, or visit my homepage for more info!