According to Investopedia, “Greenwashing is conveying a false impression that a company or its products are more environmentally sound than they really are.” Sounds deceiving right? Well it is.
Have you ever walked through the Target cleaning aisle and saw all the pretty brown and green packaging on cleaners claiming to be “natural.” Well the majority of those cleaners are greenwashed, the packaging is just made to look natural but the cleaner inside is anything but.
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Why do companies Greenwash?
Seems like this shouldn’t be a thing, right? Well those companies are seeing the rise in people wanting to purchase safer products for their homes. They don’t want their profit to suffer because of this and therefore they decide to essentially lie about their product to get more people to buy it, hence greenwashing.
So what should I be on the look out for when purchasing natural products?
Well let’s just use an example. One of the most popular “natural” brands at Target (not naming names) has some questionable ingredients. This company has done a lot of greenwashing with their product labels and their advertising.
It’s important to learn about what ingredients are bad and which are fine to use.
1 . Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): SLS is a skin irritant, can cause possible allergic reactions and has concerns for contamination with some other not so good ingredients.
2 . Fragrance: Companies don’t have to disclose what chemicals are in their fragrance. It’s just a blanket word so we have no clue what is really in those products. According to the Think Dirty app, fragrance can cause possible allergic reactions and is a possible carcinogen.
3 . PEG-5 Cocoate: This can be a skin or eye irritant and it’s just not needed in products.
What should I use instead?
Dish Soap/Hand Soap
Most of these products contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), fragrance, and PEG-5 Cocoate and some other not so good ingredients.
A lot of multi surface cleaners contains fragrance and PEG-5 Cocoate and some other questionable ingredients. . It seems counterintuitive to use harmful products to clean your house, right?
We use Thieves household cleaner and love it. It’s really concentrated so the bottle lasts us a long time. It also smells amazing but without the chemicals of artificial fragrance.
There are also other things you can use to clean. You can use vinegar as a spray to clean your countertops and bathrooms. If you can’t stand the smell you can add essential oils to it to make the smell not as strong. You can also use baking soda and a little water to make a scrub for hard to get off stains and such.
As far as store bought products you really need to watch out for greenwashing. I suggest you take a look at the ingredients before you buy any product. Also I recommend downloading the Think Dirty app on your phone. With this app you can just scan a product and it will show you a score between 1 and 10. You want a product to have a score of about 1-3 because any higher than that and the product becomes questionable.
Another great site to check out when trying to find natural products is the Environmental Working Group or EWG.org. There is so much information on this site about cleaning products, skin products, and pretty much any product you can think of.
I hope you guys found this interesting and as always, if you have any questions feel free to contact me. Living a more natural life is so important for our health and I hope you feel that too! Also be sure to check out The Beginners Guide to Natural Living for more information on using non toxic products in your home.