Greenwashing

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.

3 thoughts on “Greenwashing

  1. I honestly didn’t really think about dish soap or just household cleaning products in general around my house when doing this post. Now I am realizing that I must not being paying attention to what I am buying and how the labels are coming off to the public. It truly is insane to think about how the dish soap we are using thinking it is going to, is probably also hurting us in the end, maybe even the animals if this is what they are using on them. I am completely mind blown after reading what you found.

  2. It is ironic that many companies do give to charity organizations that work on cleaning up problems when they don’t even pay that much attention to their business practices may create/add to problems.

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