eco-friendly ~ all natural ~ biodegradable ~ certified organic ~ naturally pure ~ These are all terms used in advertisements and on labels in response to the ever increasing number of consumers like you who are seeking these types of green cleaning products and green janitorial supplies. In fact this is a strategy that has become a common part of the branding and advertising world. In recent years the in-store availability of so-called green products have increased dramatically. For instance, since the launch of Green Works cleaning products by Clorox only two years ago they have already captured a robust 42% of the consumer cleaning products market! Unfortunately many of the current advertisements and labels are actually greenwashing.
Greenwashing is the practice of making false or deceptive environmental claims. This term was first coined in 1986 by NY environmentalist Jay Westerveld in an essay regarding the hotel industry’s practice of placing placards in each room to promote reuse of guest-towels, ostensibly to “save the environment” when in fact the behind-the-scenes practices were incongruent. The actual objective of this practice was to cut costs to enhance the hotel’s bottom line, not their environmental practices.
Some businesses are genuinely committed to making the world a better, greener place. Many companies, however, want us to pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, as Dorothy and her friends in the Wizard of Oz were encouraged to do. For these companies eco-friendly is little more than a convenient, politically correct slogan. There are examples. For instance Comcast encourages customers to sign up for the ecobill with the slogan of “PaperLESSisMORE”. At the same time Comcast uses huge quantities of paper for direct marketing. Nor does the launch of Green Works guarantees that Clorox has, as a company, gone green.
We have all heard that your actions speak louder than your words. Usually it does not take any more time, energy or effort to live green than it does to make the commitment to be green – all it requires is an awareness. There are green home cleaning products and green janitorial supplies that live the words.