Most products claiming to be green are living in sin
Photo: xrrrOf course you can’t believe everything you read on labels, especially when it comes to green claims. But the BS is a lot more rampant than even the cynic in me suspected.
Because we say so: A new survey by TerraChoice, the environmental marketing firm, concludes that more than 95 percent of the “green” products it analyzed were guilty of at least one sin of greenwashing. The bogus promises are particularly bad when it comes to toys and baby products — TerraChoice found that 100 percent of the toys and more than 99 percent of the baby products it analyzed were guilty of misleading consumers, at least to some degree.
The number of products claiming to be green has jumped by 73 percent in the past year, with a huge increase in the number of toys and baby products claiming to be free of BPA — the compound used in plastics that was recently listed as toxic by the Canadian government. The study also found that you’re more likely to find “sin-free” products in big box stores than in boutiques.
But hey, there’s one glimmer of hope. These days a whopping 4.5 percent of the products TerraChoice reviewed weren’t guilty of any greenwashing. Three years ago, it was 1 percent.
And in other green news:
Big trucking deal: The trucking industry seems to like the EPA’s new fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emission standards for medium and heavy-duty vehicles. But enviro groups say they don’t go far enough since they don’t include incentives to get more hybrid trucks on the road. [The Hill]
Zombies rule: Politico’s Darren Samuelsohn is going out on a limb — although it’s a pretty fat limb — and suggests that no candidate can win the Republican presidential nomination in two years unless he or she is a climate change skeptic.
Fueled by tea party rage, anti-government sentiment and hostility to anything attached to President Barack Obama, the 2012 GOP primary field is expected to run to the right. If the midterm elections are any guide, any support for climate legislation — no matter how tepid — will be a black mark in the eyes of Republican primary voters.
Lesser of two weasels: Believe it or not, the latest polls show that Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) actually has a decent shot at being re-elected to the Senate as a write-in candidate — the first time that would happen since 1954. Yes, Murkowski has been leading the chorus of senators carping about the need to reign in the EPA, but at least she acknowledges that humans have something to do with climate change. The Republican nominee, Joe Miller, is a Sarah Palin-backed, bonafide climate zombie. [The New York Times]
Moment of truth: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has finally come out and admitted that “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” [Climate Progress]
He’s channeling Tony Hayward: BP is selling four oil fields in the Gulf to a Japanese company to help raise cash to help pay the huge costs of its spill in the Gulf [Reuters]. Meanwhile, BP’s CEO Bob Dudley says his company’s rivals and the media blew this summer’s spill out of proportion. [Reuters]
Sip cars: Next year, Mazda will start selling in Japan a car it says will get 70 miles per gallon. And it’s not a hybrid. [Technology Review]
And no, it doesn’t involve bottling road rage: If a new technology pans out, we’ll be able to use the heat energy from parking lots to make hot water. [GreenBiz]
What slippery slope? There’s a good chance Glacier National Park will have no glaciers by the end of the next decade. [Science News]
Stir fry all around: To make sure that it doesn’t get more bad pub for its lousy air, China is banning barbecues during next month’s Asian Games. [AFP]