A study of 1,018 “green” products from big-box stores has found that all but one were marketed with false or misleading eco-claims. Researchers from TerraChoice Environmental Marketing called out products for committing the “Six Sins of Greenwashing”: a hidden tradeoff (e.g., toxin-loaded electronics touting their energy efficiency); no certifiable verification of green claims; flat-out lying about certification; vagueness (e.g., products claiming “all natural” status, which could include hazardous substances that occur naturally); irrelevance (e.g., products claiming to be CFC-free even though CFCs have long been banned); or a lesser of two evils situation (e.g. organic cigarettes). Cascade paper towels were the big — and only — winner, with claims of being chlorine-free, having recycled content, and having legitimate logos checking out as accurate.
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