For this week’s topic, I was excited to learn more about greenwashing because anything that can help me to be more environmentally friendly is a benefit. However, through the course slides and research outside of the classroom, I had learned more about the ethics of green washing and what is considered “green” and what is not”.
Greenwashing means “the concepts of “green” (environmentally sound), and “whitewashing” (to gloss over wrongdoing) to describe the deceptive use of green marketing which promotes a misleading perception that a company’s policies, practices, products or services are environmentally friendly” (Flows 2012). Greenwashing, because green itself is in the term, can sound like a good thing, but it is not. Many companies can promote their products as environmental and ethically friendly but in fact, they are not. For example, Tesla claims to be very environmentally friendly with their cars however, the batteries that are in the cars, are NOT environmentally friendly at all and cause a lot of damage to the Earth.
Another term that has to do with green washing that was in the course slides was lohasian. At first, I thought a Loha was an abbreviation for something and it turns out that I was correct. It stands for Lifestyles in Health and Sustainability. A lohasian is someone who has a lifestyle that is environmentally and ethically friendly with everything that they do. They buy organic foods, organic or natural care products, and any other services that match their life style choices. “Lohas represent 17 percent of the U.S. population” (Are you Lohasian? 2017).
The last term that I came across in my own research was volatile organic compound (voc). These compounds are “organic compounds that easily become vapors or gases…they contain elements such as hydrogen, oxygen, fluorine, chlorine, bromine, sulfur, or nitrogen” (Tox Town 2017). These are considered hazardous air pollutants because they are gases that we breathe in. They can also contribute to climate change when combined with nitrogen oxides.
- Greenwashing: the concept of being green to describe the deceptive use of green or environmentally friendly marketing which promotes a misleading perception that a company’s policies or anything else is environmentally or ethically friendly.
- Lohasian: Lifestyles in Health and Sustainability, someone who has a lifestyle that is environmentally and ethically friendly with everything that they do
- Volatile organic compound: organic compounds that easily become vapors or gases
Are you Lohasian? (n.d.) Retrieved December 7, 2017 from http://www.beliefnet.com/wellness/2006/06/are-you-lohasian.aspx
Flows, C. (2012, March 22). “Greenwashing”: Deceptive Business Claims of “Eco-Friendliness”. Retrieved December 7, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2012/03/20/greenwashing-deceptive-business- claims-of-eco-friendliness/#4bada7223d9a
Tox Town – Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – Toxic chemicals and environmental health risks where you live and work – Text Version. (n.d.). Retrieved December 07, 2017, from https://toxtown.nlm.nih.gov/text_version/chemicals.php?id=31