What you Need to Know about Greenwashing Miguel Pujols April 21, 2023

What you Need to Know about Greenwashing

With this month being April, Earth Day is quickly approaching. This means a lot of brands are going to lean into environmental friendliness. They’re also going to focus on why it’s so important to care about the world we live in. 


It’s become quite trendy to do this. 


You’ll see all sorts of ads, social media posts, and other content from companies that draw attention to how much they care about the planet. You may even notice brands citing specific examples of how they are taking steps to be more conscious of the environment. 


Unfortunately, all of what you see may not be as genuine as it appears. In fact, there’s even a name for this form of deceptive marketing.  


It’s called greenwashing.


What is Greenwashing and What Does It Mean?


Greenwashing happens when companies pretend to care about the environment for the sake of turning a profit. 


In many cases, greenwashing manifests via companies lying about their levels of environmental friendliness or falsely marketing their products and/or services as beneficial to the environment. 


Five Brands Caught Greenwashing



You may be shocked to learn that some pretty big-name brands have been busted for pretending to be more environmentally friendly than they actually are. 


Some of the most reputable businesses to land in hot water for greenwashing are Volkswagen, ExxonMobile, H&M, Coca-Cola and even Starbucks!


Volkswagen and ExxonMobile were caught lying on emissions tests and downplaying their significant impacts on driving up emissions. 


Meanwhile, H&M landed in hot water for deceptive advertising in which it exaggerated the extent of its “green” clothing materials and other environmentally friendly habits. 


Finally, the greenwashing sins of Coca-Cola and Starbucks include deceiving the public about its levels of eco-friendliness and misleading customers about the extent of its recyclable materials. In the case of Coca-Cola, greenwashing eventually led to the business incurring a lawsuit.


Five Brands That Truly Care About the Environment


Despite the fact that some brands do greenwash to drive profits, there are also some really cool companies out there that cherish the environment. 


They include, but are certainly not limited to the following: Beyond Meat, Green Toys, Pela, Patagonia, and Yes Straws. Each of these brands take comprehensive, effective steps towards bettering the environment and making the world a cleaner place. 


For Beyond Meat, bettering the environment means creating plant-based foods that resemble meat, but help reduce climate change and improve the health of consumers. 


Meanwhile, Green Toys and Pela are creating products that are exclusively made of recycled goods and biodegradable materials, while fully steering clear of toxic elements.  


Finally, you have Patagonia and Yes Straws which donate to organizations that care about the planet and create biodegradable straws with fully natural materials. 




When you’re shopping around, it’s always a good idea to make sure the brands you give your business to are true defenders of the environment…not just greenwashers!


We can all play a role in making sure the planet is better, greener, and safer for future generations.