What Is Greenwashing? Tips To Avoid It

By Veronica Figueroa   |    September 18, 2020


Green.  Organic. Eco-Friendly. Sustainable. All-Natural.

Walk into any Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, and you’re bound to see green marketing on everything from eggs to toothpaste.  However, hidden among those leafy logos peppered with flowery language lies a deceitful advertising gimmick: greenwashing.

What Is


Greenwashing is using deceptive marketing techniques to persuade consumers that an organization’s products and vision are environmentally-friendly. The consumer landscape is littered with companies that have been accused of greenwashing, seemingly aligning themselves with pro-environment causes while violating environmental standards.

How To Spot  Greenwashing:

• Fluffy Language • Misleading Jargon • Green Products From a Dirty Company • Suggestive Pictures • Irrelevant Claims • “Best in Class” • No Credibility • Pretend Endorsements • No Proof

In 2011, Fiji Water was sued for deceptively marketing itself as “carbon-negative."

The woman who brought the lawsuit accused Fiji Water of using a practice known as “forward crediting,” meaning the company was giving itself credit for carbon reductions that hadn’t even happened yet.

What Is Green


Green marketing, on the other hand, is the practice of promoting products or services based on their environmental benefits. It is focused on the long-term protection of consumers and society by promoting the use of high-quality products with little to no effect on the environment.

How Can You Earn Consumer Trust in Your Green Marketing? 

• Follow Through On Commitments • Be Transparent • Genuine Third-Party Endorsements • Reinvest in the Community

Patagonia nails sustainability and green marketing.

On their website you can find curated content on the steps they’re taking to make a more sustainable product, as well as thought leadership on environmental and social responsibility.