How To Go Against Greenwashing

In recent years, we’ve all come to realize the importance of our earth. Scientists have shown us that climate change is real, and we must change the ways in which we live on this earth. Fast forward to the year of 2021, we’ve seen many sustainable changes develop in society, both among individuals and companies. We've seen lifestyle changes, the importance of living sustainably and healthily as well as zero-waste lifestyles, to take care of our earth. And not only among ourselves, we’ve even seen large corporations do the same. Therefore, everyone is trying to take part in doing better for the planet.

However, one thing we must realize is that some might not always be as sustainable as they present themselves to the public, this is a concept which we call ‘greenwashing’. Greenwashing can be harmful and dangerous as it tries to give a misconception, which tricks audiences into thinking they're doing better or more than they actually are. What is common in greenwashing, is that products, services or even brand images are being marketed as green, when, as a matter of fact, the work that it takes to be ‘green’ is not being translated to reality or is not even explained.

As sustainability is rising in awareness amongst consumers, more profit could be generated by using it as a marketing tactic. And with sustainability being used merely as marketing, the actual movements who are trying to raise awareness for sustainability are overshadowed. Misinformation is being spread and small movements are being overlooked. Making it even more difficult for you and me to recognise a truly ‘green’ product. It further emphasizes the large gap between a system and the actual work that needs to be done to ensure our planet is actually green.

This raises a lot of questions when it comes to brands’ responsibility. When do we know if sustainability is actually practiced or is simply being used as a marketing tactic? And how do we go against it? Of course, this isn't always easy to tell, and it's hard to question a set system that holds a lot of power and has a major influence in society. However, it starts with thinking critically, a skill that is crucial in today's society. Start to quest the intentions of a brand which might not be focused on sustainability, but are marketing it. This makes it easy when it comes to identifying practices of greenwashing.

Next, try to raise awareness yourself. There’s no need to badmouth a certain large corporation. However, informing others around you, and even outside your circle of your own values around sustainability, goes a long way. Raising such awareness can help in changing the ways in which both individuals and corporations think and operate. Be the change maker to your own surroundings!

Lastly, something which is incredibly helpful is supporting sustainable brands who are genuine about their cause! Try to uplift their platform and make sure they are heard, this can help them spread more reliable information, and the more support they get, the more action they can do for a sustainable planet. Talk about what you love. You have a bigger influence than you think!