Huggies Diapers


Pure and Natural?  This is a diaper that every mother who is trying to help the environment is buying out there on the market.  I hope that each mother that is buying this product knows that this is one the most greenwashing products out there.  One thing Huggies is big on is natural and renewable resources but they don’t ever really mention on the diapers what materials they are using.

Misleading fact number one is that they state on their diapers is “organic cotton.” I do not disagree that there is organic cotton on the outside of the diapers but it’s hard to believe that the part on the inside is organic cotton as well because it would not be as adsorbate as needed to be a diaper.  Next on the diapers it says “hypoallergenic” does this make Huggies pure and natural diapers any more “Green” then other diapers? I personally think that many diapers claim they are hypoallergenic especially with children this day in age. The next statement provided on the front of the package is aloe and vitamin E… but it doesn’t tell you exactly where these are located in the diaper.  Also we know that aloe and vitamin E are both certified renewable energy sources but are they organic?

As for the fact of the logos on the legitimate diapers, is that organic ink or not? Also these diapers are still disposable and not reusable.  I think that this is the main thing to make a diaper “green” in my eyes is that the diaper can be reused but to x amount of times instead of being thrown out every time a child has gone to the bathroom in it.  I think Huggies had good intentions to get there “going green” movement across to everyone, but some of there “green” ideas I believe are not very truthful. Greenwashing is in a full affect in this ad.


VW Emissions Scandal

The Volkswagen diesel scandal is not unknown news to anyone. It was widely publicized how the company was advertising its low emission diesel cars, only to find out that 11 million of its engines had been purposefully tampered with by engineers to trick the emissions tests. The company had spent $77 million in America alone advertising the “clean” engines, all while knowing that they were outright lying to potential customers. I believe that is why this example of greenwashing is so incredible to me. Greenwashing is the practice of making something seem to be more environmentally friendly than it actually is. For most companies that take part in greenwashing, this usually means exaggerating the environmental benefits of a certain product. However, the fact that Volkswagen sat down and hired multiple engineers with the sole goal of creating a piece of software that would trick the emission test, fascinates and disgusts me.

I know greenwashing has been around ever since the green craze has started but I believe that the scandal with VW was the first time people felt deceived to that extreme of a degree, all the way to the point of banding together for a massive class-action law suit. I think that after the VW scandal, people became more aware of greenwashing and how merely a label or a slogan was no guarantee that the product or practices were actually environmentally beneficial. VW is still feeling the sting of being caught. They are dealing with law suits from all angles, because it was not only the consumers that felt lied to, but also the shareholders of the company. Lots are full of VW cars that will not be bought and it poses a real problem for the company. The scandal came as a shock to people also because of the fact that it was VW in particular that got caught with this deceit. Germany has worked hard to establish itself as a very green and responsible country that genuinely cares about the environment. If Volkswagen, a very iconic German company that has usually always been in good standing with consumers, is undertaking these practices, who is to say what other companies are taking part in similar practices all over the world. It creates an environment of suspicion but I believe that suspicion is the only way to ensure that companies work towards making what they advertise true. Once people find out that they were lied to, companies may have to deal with the same problems that VW is still facing to this day, and no company with dreams of being successful in the long run would willingly put themselves through that.


Over the past ten years growing rates of bee mortality has been on the rise. Researchers have done various studies attempting to draw correlations to bee mortality. One variable found was the increasing usage of pesticides for crop production. Since there has been such a dramatic population growth,  crop production increased as well. In order to waste no time in producing these crops, farmers spray pesticides to sustain crop health and keep pests off of them such as wasps, or flies. While doing so, one of the most important factors that helps contribute to pollination, the bee is negatively effected.

The bee can be exposed to pesticides in two ways , either directly or indirectly. One example of direct exposure being direct spray onto the crop; and indirect exposure being pesticide residue found in bee nectar. In both exposures, the bee has been shown to be equally harmed. The effects of these pesticides have shown to suppress bee immunity, increase the spread of bee diseases, weaken bee reproduction abilities, and in many cases, death.

Organic farming has proved to be very beneficial in sustaining bee communities. Within organic farming, farmers refrain from using synthetic, harmful products that in return help the bee community. In this community, bees are able to thrive from a natural environment. From large scale organic farming to even smaller scale organic farming done within someone’s backyard, anything proves to be beneficial in helping the bees. Also, bee conservation programs have recently become established to sustain bee habitats and communities while people are in constant close watch over the bees ensuring safety and protection from synthetic, harmful chemicals.

Still there is much more that is needed to be done. More education on this topic needs to be spread to the public, more funding from government needs to be established, as well as more bee conservation groups need to be formed. If nothing is done to stop the declining numbers of bees, soon enough bees will face total extinction for the generations to come.  The bee is the number one pollinator around the world, for various plants and crops, without the bee communities we will not be able to live and thrive in our world.


How Natural is “All Natural”?

When we first started discussing greenwashing in class it really peaked my interest, due to the fact that I consider myself to be environmentally conscious when I see products advertised as “natural” or “green” it does tend to peak my interest. And that is the whole point, it’s supposed to appeal to this increasingly growing environmental movement that a lot of people care about. But is it all marketing, and what do these sustainable buzz words really mean?

While I do notice this type of marketing often in food packaging, I also tend to see them in the beauty industry. I decided to look into this a little deeper, specifically in shampoo and conditioner. When looking into the marketing of these products they all tend to describe “organic minerals and vitamins” that will save your hair. In particular Herbal Essences advertises “a truly organic experience”, so i decided to figure out how organic it really is. Turns out, not very, considering lauryl sulfate, propylene glycol and D&C red no. 33, and 1,4-Dioxane aren’t organic. Not only are these chemicals are dyes not eco friendly, they may be harmful to public health. 1,4-Dioxane is a carcinogen linked to organ toxicity and is in as many as 22% of cosmetic products, and despite this it is often not found on labels. The health concerns include cancer, organ-system toxicity and irritation.

Learning this information really shocked me. Companies are making millions of dollars making claims of being natural and good for the environment, when for some of these products that could not be further from the truth. Doing this research was a learning experience for me, that as a consumer one must look deeper into the products they choose to support. Consumers have all the power, and if people decide to put their money into companies that are truly eco friendly, then the big companies will follow.


I have to admit, I had never really heard of greenwashing until class. Greenwashing is when a company, government, or organization promotes green-based environmental initiatives or images but in actually functions in a way that is dangerous to the environment. It is essentially misleading customers about benefits of the product through false advertising and false claims. So, I stared looking around my apartment for products with misleading labels and lo in behold I came across my antibacterial dish soap, Dawn. The image on the front label features a baby duckling with the phrase “Dawn helps save wildlife” next to it. After a bit of research I discovered that this is deceptive. Yes, it is true Dawn donates their soap to help clean animals that are affected by oil spills, but the product itself contains chemicals that are extremely harmful to animals. Animal tests have proved that the chemicals in this particular soap have extremely harmful effects. Some of these ingredients are, trisoclan, sodium bisulfate, and quaternium 15. Trisoclan is linked to heart disease/ heart failure and also impairs muscle formation. Sodium bisulfate can be toxic if ingested potentially causing life-threatening effects. And lastly, Quaternium 15 can cause non-reproductive organ toxicity and also irritate the eyes and skin. It is apparent that companies only have one goal in mind, profit, no matter the consequences.

It is frightening how companies are trying trick customers into thinking their product is healthier, more sustainable, or in some cases even helps wildlife (Dawn). Even so, it is even scarier that people are not particularly aware of this. It seems as though our society is generally trying to become greener, for instance, our semi-recent emphasis on buying organics. Companies are using this to their advantage in order to increase their profits.