Jon: Word of the week, “Greenwashing”…..


I recently learned about a new term used to describe a type of modern advirtising. “Greenwashing” refers to:

when a company or organization spends more time and money claiming to be “green” through advertising and marketing than actually implementing business practices that minimize environmental impact. It’s whitewashing, but with a green brush” -Enviromedia

With all the enviromental empathy/panic that has been dredged up in the hearts of mainstream America recently, every suburban SUV owner has decided to “go green”. Think reusable shopping bags at Whole Foods. Because of this mostly symbolic shift in the lifestyle of the middle class, using “green” catch words (Hybrid! Clean! Energy Security! Renewable!) has become a real cashcow.

I remember a few years ago when media literacy was such a buzz topic! “Oh, adbusters this! Oh Naomi Klein that!” It seems we have all but forgotten to be critical of what we are told in marketing.

Thank god for a new website called The Greenwashing Index . They have created a project where advertising that is using green ideas to sell a product is judged by the public. After viewing different ads, they are ranked on a 1(true)-5(lie) scale, and voters can leave comments.

Some of the ads are really fantastic!

And some are such lies it is laughable!


4 Responses to “Jon: Word of the week, “Greenwashing”…..”

  1. 1 gaycondo
    January 29, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    great post, that clean coal video almost made me spit out a mouthful of wine!

  2. January 30, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    we were talking about pinkwashing at work today

  3. January 30, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    This is JT of Kool & The Gang, and I loooooove coal energy!

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