The 'Greenwashing' Game - Are You Playing?
November 25, 2016
Ah yes The Greenwashing Game. Is this a game you participate in unknowingly every day? Is it really a game or more of a ruse of the chemical industry? My take on greenwashing is that it is the act of making something appear environmentally friendly when in fact it’s not.
Another way to describe it is spin. Many greenwashing campaigns are nothing more than highly deceptive marketing techniques employed by traditionally environmentally controversial industries, kind of like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
An excellent example of Greenwashing is the use of an ingredient called propanediol. It is used in many green and eco-friendly household cleaning products. Sounds pretty safe don’t you think? Read on a bit further and judge for yourself what this ingredient really is.
You may know propanediol as its other chemical name propylene glycol, or if you work as an auto mechanic you may know it's chemical cousin anti-freeze. The beauty and personal care product industry loves this ingredient because it has so many different applications. Kind of like an all-in-one ingredient that gives chemical companies more bang for their buck so to speak. And you guessed it propylene glycol is a xenoestrogen due to its glycol ether component.
Anti-Freeze in Beauty Products?
So what does propanediol do for your hair and skin besides disrupt your hormones? Propanediol is a great humectant (moisturizer), an excellent antibacterial, a solvent and an additive in fragrance or scented products. It's purpose in essential oils is to make scents long lasing.
The sad truth is that only a few companies produce genuine, natural, eco-friendly products. Anyone can plaster the terms organic and natural on household cleaner labels and/or personal care products due to the loose nature of labeling laws. Many brands marketed as natural use high concentrations of synthetic chemicals with a minor percentage of natural ingredients and so The Greenwashing Game continues.
What Can You Do?
Rather than trusting the word natural on the front of the container, flip the package over and check the ingredient list. If you don't recognize a certain ingredient you can send a quick message to me at Ask Bonnie. I would be happy to tell you how the ingredient rates on the xenoestrogen scale. You can also check out The 7 Deadly Estro-Sins for more simple ways to recognize hormone disrupting chemicals in your products.
At Zero Xeno we hold our own products and ingredients to the same strict standards we hold others to. Our products you have been formulated, manufactured and packaged to be free of known xenoestrogens. Our goal is to lead by example in the hope that other companies will follow suit so that natural products will once again contain natural ingredients.
Help me win the war on greenwashing, donate to "Help Bonnie Penner Fight Greenwashing" today!
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by Bonnie Penner
Photo Credit: hhenkels.blogspot.com