I’ll admit it: this whole “Go Green” business is driving me nuts. Not because I don’t place value on environmental sustainability (I absolutely do), but because it often feels more like a sales and marketing ploy than an authentic movement. Everywhere I go, I see green product descriptions. Everyone is green these days. Everything is sustainable. In fact, I would be surprised not to see some reference to eco-friendliness on a company’s marketing materials.
To a certain extent, I understand that. As environmental sustainability has moved to the forefront of nationwide discourse, people are naturally concerned about the sustainability of the products they are buying. They should be. And, thus, it is only natural for companies to keep their prospective and existing clients aware of their green practices. I think my real frustration comes into play when I see “green-washing” occur. And occur it certainly does. All over.All the time. So much so, actually, that I feel compelled to address it today.
So, today I thought I might address how you, as a consumer, can identify and combat green-washing in your search for environmentally friendly spa equipment.
- Question the company. Call the company. Talk to its sales team. If you question a sales rep and they subsequently skirt an issue or can’t offer you details about their sustainability programs, it is a potential red flag.
- Ask your friends and colleagues. Your friends and colleagues have probably already done a lot of the research you’re now engrossed in. Ask them for their opinions. What have their experiences been?
- Don’t skimp on research. If a company is practicing environmental sustainability, it’s likely that they’ve put their practices in writing. What’s more, it is likely that they work publically with other groups and agencies that support the environment. You would be amazed by how much a little research uncovers.
- It’s in the details. We see statements like “We’re Green” and “our eco-friendly product line” all over. Is that just fancy marketing? An authentically eco-conscious company will offer you specifics to go along with those statements. They’ll explain – in detail when possible – what actually makes a product eco-friendly.
The crux of it is this: people can and do green-wash their marketing and sales communication, but there are plenty of companies who do provide quality, environmentally sustainable products. Those companies do so because it’s the right thing to do, not necessarily because they want to include green statements in their marketing materials. Should they include those statements?Absolutely. As a consumer, you want to know those things. But, should you double-check their accuracy?You absolutely should. That’s part of being an active consumer.