Thursday, September 30, 2010


The concept of greenwashing is one that I've learned from some other blogs that I follow and the idea is something like this: companies deliberately mislead consumers to believe that they are more friendly to the environment (green) than they actually are.

There's one company in particular that I've noticed doing this lately. Seventh Generation. There's a lot that I like about 7th Gen. I love their multi-purpose spray and their laundry detergent. But their packaging is something I just can't wrap my head around. That and the fact that they sell disinfecting wipes.

On you can purchase 7th Gen products in bulk. This is a great theory. I love to stock up in order to save money down the road. My issue is that their idea of bulk is selling 6-packs of their products. Why not sell one large container to cut down on the resources needed to produce each individual container and then the energy needed to recycle them later?

I also have issues with the fact that a company that supposedly cares about the environment, as sort of their main schtick is selling disposable disinfecting wipes. Those wipes produce an incredible amount of waste and they just go into the garbage. I can't find anything on 7th Gen's website to indicate that these wipes are biodegradable which means that they'll never break down in the landfill. But even assuming they are, unless you're using biodegradable trash bags, it won't matter because things that would otherwise compost or degrade aren't given the chance if they're wrapped up in the traditional plastic bag.

I think in these ways Seventh Generation isn't living up to the green standard they've set for themselves. They're doing a bit of greenwashing.

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