Life in the Green Lane: The Sins of Greenwashing.

For those of us who have been diligently trying to “go green” while shopping last week’s news was more than a little disheartening.

According to the “Sins of Greenwashing: Home and Family Edition,” released by North American environmental marketing company TerraChoice, more than 95% of consumer products examined committed at least one “greenwashing” violation.

Ninety-five percent!

Obviously, not a good thing.

In conducting its study, TerraChoice examined more than 5,000 products in 34 stores in the U.S. and Canada and found more than 12,000 “green” claims among them. Interestingly, the study also found that big box retailers are more likely to stock legitimate “green” products with valid environmental certifications than smaller boutique-style enviro-stores.

In addition to noting false labels and vague claims, the study also found numerous greenwashing claims related to child products. For example, some companies are making unsupported claims that a product is free of Bisphenol A (BPA), a compound used in plastics like baby bottles that has recently been evaluated for its possible health effects, including the impact on fetal and infant brains.

On the upside, the study did find there are 73 percent more green products on the market today than in 2009, and that greenwashing has declined slightly in a year. That’s encouraging; more of us must be doing the right thing by demanding greener goods and so marketers if manufacturers and sellers are taking notice!

Want to read more? Visit Jessica’s blog, “Life in the Green Lane” at

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