February 29, 2008 —
Whether you go out of your way to buy green products or couldn't care less about the difference between incandescent and LED, chances are you're fed up with the overwhelming wave of green marketing ploys that Madison Avenue has recently unleashed. There's nothing "natural" about 7-Up, the board of directors at BP isn't comprised of environmentalists, and Hummers can't be green — no matter how many nature shots get thrown into the ads.
For those of us who are passionate about spotting and debunking greenwashing when we see it, a new website offers an outlet. Greenwashing Index is a project of the EnviroMedia Social Marketing firm, which partnered with faculty from the University of Oregon School of Journalism with the hopes of giving consumers and interactive weapon against misleading advertising. The site allows users to post, critique and rate ads based on how reliable their eco-assertions are. Scores range from "good," to "pushing it," to "total greenwashing." Maybe it's not going to keep Kermit the Frog from selling SUV's, but the faster greenwashing awareness spreads, the sooner companies will get the message that green shoppers want improved products, not empty slogans.