On Earth Day, it seems like everyone is trying to sell green products or eco-friendly companies. But some of these claims are just slick marketing: they’re green scams. Click on the images to view the slideshow, or scroll down for our report and news release. And cast your vote for the worst one!
DON’T BE FOOLED 2013: Executive Summary
Green marketing isn’t a new trend. Countless books, experts, and seminars agree: advertising a product as earth-friendly, or a company as a good eco-citizen is a good way to stand out from the crowd. But with so much emphasis on marketing, it’s tough for green-minded citizens to shop their values — and that undermines the environmental movement. This year, on the day after Earth Day, The Green Life is releasing our annual “Don’t Be Fooled” report to call out the worst green scams.
Here are, in alphabetical order, the top 10 green scams from the past year:
Amazon: Despite FTC action ordering them to stop, Amazon continued selling rayon sheets labeled as “100% bamboo.”
Apple advertises the new Retina Macbook Pro laptop as “the world’s greenest,” but experts say it’s the “least repairable, least recyclable” computer in a decade.
Audubon International: certifier of golf courses under dubious standards, using the well-known name and bird logo, despite no affiliation with the Audubon Society
Canadian Tar Sands: the Canadian government spent millions to run ads calling tar sands oil extraction “responsible,” while undermining environmental protections
Kashi: Their cereal stretches the meaning of “all natural” with genetically-engineered ingredients.
McDonald’s & Marine Stewardship Council: a partnership to sell “sustainable” fish sandwiches, despite a murky record for protecting fish and wildlife
Organix: A hair-care brand. Most of their products aren’t organic.
Sherwin–Williams: their Dutch Boy Refresh paint claimed to be “zero-VOC” – but most colors actually contained dangerous VOCs.
Sustainable Forestry Initiative: an industry-dominated group that greenwashes paper and wood
Two Sides: A paper industry group that pressures banks and utilities to stop offering paperless billing