What is greenwashing?
Now that we are faced with daily reminders that climate change is real and it's not going anywhere unless we change our behaviors, corporations are taking note and changing course. Some are starting to incorporate recycled materials into their products and packaging, making lofty goals to reduce their carbon emissions, or even rethinking their entire production lines to reach "zero waste." And if a company doesn't post an annual Sustainability Report, are they even in business?
However, for every company trying to do better for the planet there is another that is only ~promising~ to do so without actually making any changes. A lot of these companies will do things like change their packaging to include more earth tone colors; or purposely use words like "sustainable" or "eco-friendly" knowing full well that those terms are unregulated and essentially mean nothing.
This, my friends, is known as greenwashing.
Where did greenwashing originate?
Although the term "greenwashing" was coined in the 80s by a prominent environmentalist, it was used in advertising long before that. One of the original instances of greenwashing is seen in a 1971 commercial created by the organization called Keep America Beautiful now known as "The Crying Indian."
Watch this video to learn what greenwashing really means, how this commercial fits the bill, and why it's such an effective advertising tactic!
Click this link to read along: Transcript of Is This Greenwashing? Keep America Beautiful "The Crying Indian" Commercial 1971
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