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"There is a time to let things happen, and a time to make things happen."

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Environmentally Conscious Consumers', Look out for Greenwash!
by "The Green Ranter" , Reporting for The United States Media Corps.
Has Your Socially Responsible Brain Been Greenwashed?

Greenwash is "Disinformation disseminated by an organization so as to present an environmentally responsible public image without employing the socially responsible practices presented in their advertising. The goal is to lure consumers trying to support ecologically/socially responsible organizations."

Greenwashers make bold environmenalist claims & leave consumers with the task of verifying them.

Greenwash is something we all have to watch out for in our shopping & voting, but something this site will particularly have to be on guard for as we seek to co-create change by promoting green / sustainable / environmentally / socially responsible products & services. So please, help us out if you know of any organizations engaging in greenwash by letting us know about them or by discussing them in our forums.

The main aim of greenwash is to fool good people who are trying to do good things, so fight back against these liars.

Big business is the most common greenwasher, however political parties have picked up on the recent streak of environmental consciousness running through the populous. More people are becoming more aware.

Consumers are realizing that it's not right to have to pay for water, fight to breath clean air & pay for the mess corporations make as they take from the shared natural resource base and sell it back to us at a profit. But hey, we buy from them & give them their motive to stay within this vicious circle, so become informed & battle against the green imposters.

While there are many things we don't NEED to buy, food & water are not among them. Some of us remember a day when we didn't have to buy clean drinking water,. So let's be on guard so that we're not buying corporately controlled bottled air supplies next .

Can anyone think of a better scam / crime? Think of Mr. Smithers from "The Simpsons as you read this next line.. "As we dirty the resources we used to obtain our wealth, we'll use that wealth and power to grab control of the remaining clean resources and sell them back at a profit as well.." It's like the old saying, "We'll sue the pants off them, then sell them pants".

For more fuel for outrage on how we lost the control of clean water to corporations, let me recommend the book " Blue Gold ": The Fight to Stop the Corporate Theft of the World's Water by Maude Barlow.

There are several kinds of greenwash. It appears on labels, in advertising and in political campaign media. An example of greenwash that utilizes a multi--pronged attack is the S.F.I. label, which is obtained through a government agency awash in corporate control and lobby.

SFI is the acronym for Sustainable Forestry Initiative. The label is used on paper & wood products that comply with standards of this organization. The standards are vague and were put in place by the American Forest & Paper Association (AFPA). AFPA & S.F.I. were founded by and still consist of members from the industry it suggests to police.

"Organic" and "Green Seal" are backed by strict independent certification, so for now shoppers can be more sure about these labels. Labels like "eco-friendly & "all natural." are not backed up by much at the point of this writing.
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What You Can Do About Greenwashers:

Use the Consumers Union’s Guide to Environmental Labels. The site features label report cards that can be printed & taken to the store for reference. Consumers can also download them onto P.D.A.'s & other mobile devices.

Subscribe to The Green Life’s Don’t Be Fooled report, released annually on April Fool’s Day. They profile the ten worst greenwashers of the year. You can also subscribe to their Greenwasher of the Month e-newsletter.

Perhaps, most importantly, refuse to buy from companies who are trying to fool us.

Use our Activism area to talk back & lobby the companies who engage in greenwash to let them know why you won't buy from them and how you will spread the word about them to get others not to do so either. If you need to know who to call or where to send a letter so your comments will make an impact, send a message to .

Former Madison Avenue executive Jerry Mander’s penned an article a year after the inaugural earth day entitled "Ecopornography: One Year & Nearly a Billion Dollars Later, Advertising Owns Ecology" It documented how the oil, chemical, automobile & other industries co-opted environmental imagery and messages via expensive media campaigns.

An example of a current green washer is British Petroleum.." BP is making some moves in R & D of the of alternative fuels markets, but oil is still the main focus of it's business investment & profit. You would not know this from their "Beyond Petroleum advertisements and new logo however. That's what makes them a good example of what greenwashing is.

The Greenwash Academy, - a coalition of environmental and social justice groups CorpWatch, Friends of the Earth International & GroundWork. held the Greenwash Academy Awards ceremony during the World Summit on Sustainable Development to honor companies for greenwash productions that are just as fictitious and often more expensive than Hollywood films. Winners included BP for Best Greenwash, ExxonMobil CEO Lee Raymond for Best Director and Shell for Lifetime Achievement. The United States was awarded Best Supporting Government for representing corporate interests in environmental treaty negotiations.

A good political greenwash example appeared in 2003 when Republican consultant Frank Luntz’s confidential memo proposing the party’s greenwash strategy leaked to the press. The memo warns Republican politicians that they have "lost the communications battle" over the environment and encourages them to gain control by seizing "a window of opportunity to challenge the science on global warming. Luntz recommends hollow but evocative buzzwords for politicians to use while stumping on environmental issues, including "safer, cleaner, healthier" and "a fair balance between the environment and economy." According to Luntz, "A compelling strategy, even if factually inaccurate, can be more emotionally compelling than a dry recitation of the truth."
Help this site, help you & others..
If you know of any organizations engaging in greenwash let us know about them. You can also meet others & discuss them in our forums. The main aim of greenwash is to fool good people trying to do good things, so fight back against these liars.

Use Responsible Shopper whenever you're going to make major purchases & with stores that you use frequently to see how they check out with respect to environmental & social

The green life has an excellent resources on greenwash, how to spot it & what to do about it.
Consumer power for change.responsibility.

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