Beware of Greenwashing, It’s Everywhere!
A few days ago I was driving to work and heard an ad on the radio for organic vitamin supplements. While at work, I noticed several Internet ads for a home-delivery organic grocery store, and at lunch I ordered off the restaurant’s organic options menu. It feels like at every turn we are being reminded about the great health benefits of organic products. At the Organic Mattress Store, we are big supporters of the green movement. However, it is very frustrating to find out how many companies are actually twisting or hiding the truth about their so-called “green” products in order to make them more appealing to a health conscious audience.
What is Greenwashing?
Many companies make misleading environmental or health claims to make consumers believe they are buying something good for themselves and their families. This practice is known as “greenwashing,” and it’s a sales tactic that is far too popular among advertisers today. As a consumer, you see greenwashing jargon everywhere. “All natural,” “fuel efficient,” and “fresh” are just a few of the vague terms used to make us think we are buying healthy, organic products when we are not. A 2010 study by Terrachoice revealed that about 95% of so-called “green” products are being greenwashed.
One common greenwashing tactic employed by advertisers is the use of certification logos. Often times, these logos do not represent credible sources. When considering what type of natural mattress you want to buy, you will encounter three different types of certifications; each type has its own standards and definitions of what is acceptable. It is important for consumers to be wary when evaluating the claims of these certification labels.
1. First-Party Certifications: These claims are made by the company selling you the mattress. First-party certifications are the least trustworthy of the three label types.
2. Second-Party Certifications: This type of claim is often made by a trade association. Though second-party certifications are more credible than first-party, they tend to tailor a certification around a particular product, rather than ensuring a product is made to meet the standards of an existing certification.
3. Third-Party Certifications: These certifications are made by non-profit organizations or government bodies with no financial stake in the outcome. In general, third-party certifications are the most credible and trustworthy of the three label categories.
At The Organic Mattress Store, we offer mattresses which use wool as a natural fire retardant. And our cottons are 100% organic