Monday, October 20, 2008

Greenwashing

I learned a new word at an environmental conference last week:

greenwashing

It's a delicious combination of green and whitewashing (and brainwashing, come to think of it).

According to Wikipedia, here are the Six Sins of Greenwashing:


In December 2007, environmental marketing company TerraChoice gained national press coverage for releasing a study called "The Six Sins of Greenwashing," which found that 99% of 1,018 common consumer products randomly surveyed for the study were guilty of greenwashing.

According to the study, the six sins of greenwashing are:

  • Sin of the Hidden Trade-Off: e.g. “Energy-efficient” electronics that contain hazardous materials.
  • Sin of No Proof: e.g. Shampoos claiming to be “certified organic,” but with no verifiable certification.
  • Sin of Vagueness: e.g. Products claiming to be 100% natural when many naturally-occurring substances are hazardous, like arsenic and formaldehyde (see appeal to nature).
  • Sin of Irrelevance: e.g. Products claiming to be CFC-free, even though CFCs were banned 20 years ago.
  • Sin of Fibbing: e.g. Products falsely claiming to be certified by an internationally recognized environmental standard like EcoLogo, Energy Star or Green Seal.
  • Sin of Lesser of Two Evils: e.g. Organic cigarettes or “environmentally friendly” pesticides.
Being a bit of a wordsmith, I ask you, what would these words mean:

yellowwashing

redwashing

purplewashing

blackwashing

graywashing

Oh, I have ideas percolating. Oh yeah.

Sometimes, though, it is best to let imaginations play, which would be spectrumwashing.

1 comment:

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Wash your specs... who knows what you will come up with.
You have a very sharp mind.


Scarlett & Viaggiatore