Greenwashing, Mattresses and Rutabagas

Consumers are hit with “green” claims everywhere.  An organic rutabaga, or a cup of Costa Rican coffee supporting sustainable business practices, or a “natural” face lotion, or a green … fill in the blank.

Sometimes the message is sincere.  That rutabaga may have been grown without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.

Sometimes, not.  That “natural” face lotion may be made with synthetics and chemical additives.

Sneaky Dairies. The Babcock bottle was invented in 1890 by Professor Stephen M. Babcock to measure fat content in milk after unscrupulous dairies began watering their milk down, thus making more money per gallon than honest companies providing honest products.  I wonder if they called it milk washing?

Sneaky Dairies. The Babcock bottle was invented in 1890 by Professor Stephen M. Babcock to measure fat content in milk after unscrupulous dairies began watering their milk down, thus making more money per gallon than honest companies providing honest products. I wonder if they called it milk washing?

To be organic, sustainable, green or eco-friendly in any industry (and those labels mean very, very different things to different people) takes commitment, veracity, diligence, and more commitment.  If a company isn’t committed, they may find it easier to market themselves with words to convince you they are “green” (when they really aren’t).

Greenwashing, or marketing a product as natural or green when it isn’t, is bothersome to legitimate businesses like ours.  Companies, though, have always tried to take sneaky shortcuts.

For consumers, however, greenwashing is confusing, obnoxious and frankly unfair.

We want to help you better navigate the dubious “green” and “eco” marketing waters out there.  To that end, we’re dedicating some blog posts to shine a light on greenwashing and other shadowy marketing practices.

We’ll kick it off next Tuesday with soybean foam.

Until then, here’s a link to some great recipes from Boston Organics for that organic rutabaga of yours.

http://www.bostonorganics.com/rutabagas/pr/rutabagas

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