Greenwashing is the deceptive use of green marketing and public relations pushes to imply that a company’s products are more eco friendly than they really are. Sometimes there’s a fine line between greenwashing and truly environmentally conscious initiatives, and sometimes the distinction is quite easy to make.
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Simply making an ad out of plants can be seen as greenwashing, but whether one is annoyed by giant corporations pretending to be more eco conscious than they actually are, it would be hard to argue that plant ads are a step up from the typical billboard.
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Greenpeace and Unicef create shocking ad campaigns that are far from greenwashing, but are controversial in their own right. Showing decapitated people to argue against deforestation, or show a dead seal in the shape of a shoe, is an intense way to grab people’s attention.
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Some ads are bedecked with foliage and deeply imply a strong environmental legacy, but on closer look, many of these ads promote products that are difficult to argue as environmentally friendly. From “green chemicals” to fields of cotton, there is little actual environmentalism involved in these products.
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Declaring gas guzzling vehicles as eco friendly, or touting a cut-back on plastic as an environmental outlook are definitely deceptive. Scaling back the damage one does to the environment is admirable, but it doesn’t mean the initial destruction is at all ecologically friendly. It is definitely important for one to keep an eye out when purchasing one product over another simply because it mentions its environmentalism, as companies are more than willing to stretch the truth to get their product in the shopping cart.