Our Earth is 4.54 billion years old. And it shows: the question of environmental protection has been raised for a long time: tropical forests are destroyed, countless waste products are dumped into the sea. Climate change is in full swing. Earth Day has been celebrated in more than 175 countries for 45 years. The purpose of this day is to increase appreciation for the planet, address environmental protection and challenge consumer behavior. This includes whether a product is truly environmentally friendly or just seems to be. Here are some tips to help you unmask the fakes.
GREENWASHING: A DECEPTIVE VENEER
Greenwashing is the practice of making a company, product or brand appear environmentally friendly, social or sustainable. In short, companies give their target groups the impression that they are acting in an environmentally friendly manner, but are not actually doing so, but are pretending to do so mainly for image purposes. But how can consumers know if a product is really environmentally friendly?
Products are becoming more and more homogenous and consumers are finding it increasingly difficult to distinguish one from another. Anyone who wants to defend themselves against greenwashing should keep the following in mind: it is important to question products or brands in a critical way. Fortunately, there are some institutions that help us unmask the greenwash actors. If you look for certain seals of approval, such as the Blue Angel or the Euro Flower, the next time you go shopping, you can be sure that truly environmentally friendly products have landed in your cart.
ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY CLEANING PRODUCTS?
Greenwashing is happening everywhere and at all times: even on the packaging of detergents. Vague formulations such as “environmentally friendly” or “eco-detergent” make it easy to declare a product as environmentally friendly. But the reality is different. Such claims are rarely based on fact. Conventional detergents often claim to be biodegradable, phosphate-free or chlorine-free.
It is important to note that there is no such thing as a completely green cleaning product. It can always happen that a product contains a biologically difficult or not completely degradable substance. However, if you still do not want to do without environmentally friendly products in your home, you can use the European Ecolabel (Euroblume) as a guide. Thanks to the Euroblume product catalog, you can quickly check online whether a product is really environmentally friendly or only advertised as such.
CODECHECK: FIGHT AGAINST GREENWASHING!
Consuming ecological and sustainable products is easy: as long as you make the effort. The “Codecheck” application is a useful companion in this respect. As the name suggests: consumers can use the app to check certain facts about products. These include the ingredients, manufacturer and origin of a product.
Once the app is installed on the smartphone, the critical check can begin. Simply scan the barcode or QR code. And the application reveals, already, the content of a product. Thanks to a search function, it is also possible, for example, to check your cleaning product for critical ingredients. Simply enter the name in the search function and the application will filter out all the ingredients of the product and tell the user to what extent these ingredients are recommendable or not. The “Codecheck” app is available on the Google Playstore and for iOS.