What is “Greenwashing” and why is it Important?

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“Greenwashing” is a term used when a company misleads consumers into believing that it is environmentally friendly. It is very easy to be fulled by these claims, unless you are trained to read labels. Unfortunately, this area of advertising is not regulated by the government so it is very easy for companies to get away with it. Even if you do read the labels, companies are not required to disclose all of the ingredients so we have no way of knowing what is truly in them.

According to the Environmental Working Group, one big offender is Starbucks. Starbucks claims they got rid of plastic straws to be more “eco-friendly”; when in turn, they are actually using more plastic to make the new straw-less lids now. Another offender is Simple Green; they claim to be non-toxic but the ingredient 2-butoxyethanol is in their formula, which causes eye and skin irritation and may cause red blood cell damage. Target’s brand, Up & Up offers little or no information on the ingredients, as does Walmart’s brand, Great Value.

I was very disappointed to learn that two of my favorite household brands are guilty of “greenwashing”. I went to the Environmental Working Group’s healthy cleaning database to check the scores and ingredients of the products I used on a daily basis. The database rates products and their ingredients on a scale of A (the best) to F (the worst).

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day is one of my favorite brands. I especially love the lavender scent. I was surprised to see that these products all received a “D” score from the database. Why were they ranked so poorly?

Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap contained:

  • Methylisothiazolinone, which can cause skin irritation, allergies and damage
  • Lauramine oxide, which can cause cancer and reproductive harm
  • Fragrance, which can cause respiratory effects

Mrs. Meyer’s Counter Top spray contained:

  • Methylisothiazolinone, which can cause skin irritation, allergies and damage
  • Fragrance – which can cause respiratory effects
  • Laureth-7 – can cause cancer, digestive system effects, and damage to vision

Another brand that I use a lot in the house is Method.

The Method dish soap also received “D” rating from the EWG.

It contained the same ingredients as Mrs. Meyers along with Botanical Oil, which can cause cancer, damage to DNA, developmental, reproductive and endocrine effects.

Another Method product I really like is the Squirt and Mop.

It got a “C” rating due to ingredients that can cause cancer, respiratory problems, nervous systems effects, and digestive damage.

It was shocking to learn how harmful the ingredients were in the products that I thought were better for myself and the environment. I ended up searching the database for better alternatives before I bought replacements. I hope the small changes I am making (and have already made) will make a difference in a happier and healthier home.

To check the scores of your cleaning products, click here.

*Disclaimer- I am not endorsing or affiliated with any brands or companies. I share this knowledge out of pure passion for helping others choose healthier products.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Christy B says:

    I’m surprised (and disappointed) at the low rating of Method – which shows that the label isn’t telling us the whole story about the eco-friendly side of things, as you indicate. Thanks for linking to that search site to look up different cleaning products.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t it disappointing?! It’s very misleading.
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting!😊


  2. Thanks for the “Follow” on my blog, Vinegar, Vinegar, Vinegar! Also Windex, works well on stuff besides glass…..Plain old detergent for the hard jobs…Thank’s for the info, and taking the time to do the research!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CristinaMB says:

      You’re welcome! Thank you so much for reading and commenting!


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