Category Archive: Greenwashing
Are Biodegradable Products Good for the Environment, or Greenwashing?
Biodegradable products have positioned themselves as the eco-friendly packaging option that can be used, thrown out, and broken down in a landfill. That may sound nice, but in reality, many so-called biodegradable products have a dubious record when it comes to helping the planet. The term “biodegradable” has been greenwashed into meaning “eco-friendly.” But to qualify as a biodegradable product, by definition, the product only needs to be able to break down in nature. The catch is that there is no time limit. Almost anything will biodegrade at some point -- that point may just be thousands of years away. Standard plastics and...Read More
Are Electric Vehicles Really Better for the Environment?
Electric vehicle manufacturers have been touting their cars as the vehicle of the future, in large part because they’re considered an environmentally friendly solution to car pollution. Congress has added credibility to this claim by offering thousands of dollars in tax incentives to electric vehicle owners. Electric vehicle owners claim they are saving the environment because they are not dependent on dirty fossil fuels, but that often isn’t the case. Rechargeable cars may seem like the green alternative, but a closer look shows that electric vehicles are not as easy on the environment as their manufacturers paint them to be. No Fossil...Read More
Greenwashing: Straw Replacements
A video of a turtle and a third grader’s (questionable) calculation created the perfect storm to launch plastic straws into the position of public enemy number one in the eyes of many environmentalists. While straws may seem harmless, there are millions used every day in sodas and coffee cups throughout the country, leaving many to fret about the accumulation of plastic waste in landfills and oceans. Milo Cress, the 9-year-old who sparked fears about straw-mageddon by estimating that 500 million straws used per day, did not have the exact math correct; he overestimated by roughly 330 million straws per day. He did,...Read More
Greenwashing: Solar Panels
Curbing carbon emissions has been a top priority for environmentalists in the past few decades. Activists have urged businesses and governments to pursue alternative energy sources spurring investments in several forms of renewable energy. But not all alternatives are created equal. Solar power advocates act as though carbon-free energy is literally pouring from the sky without consequence, but the reality is that collecting solar energy is not as simple or clean as it may seem. The most glaring problem with solar power is that it is not a viable alternative to fossil fuels. A football field covered in solar panels struggles to...Read More
Greenwashing: Organic Foods
This is the third report in a series about companies “greenwashing” products to make them appear to be better for the environment than they actually are. You can read our other greenwashing reports here. Keep an eye on the Periodic Fabels blog for future updates to the series. Organic foods have always marketed themselves as eco-friendly alternatives. Organic products carry the perception of being better for the environment because the logos often come with catchphrases like “all-natural” or “pesticide-free” and feature cute pictures of happy cows or other feel-good, pastoral imagery. Even the United States Department of Agriculture’s logo is green...Read More
Greenwashing: Plant-Based Meat
This is the second report in a series about companies “greenwashing” products to make them appear to be better for the environment than they actually are. You can read our other greenwashing reports here. Keep an eye on the Periodic Fabels blog for future updates to the series. Fake meat companies claim their products as environmentally friendly. But are they? Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, and other synthetic meat companies tout their products as the meat alternative that could save the planet. They argue meat production emits too much greenhouse gas and fake meat is a greener replacement. Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown...Read More
Greenwashing: Boxed Water
This is the first report in a series about companies “greenwashing” products to make them appear to be better for the environment than they actually are. Keep an eye on the Periodic Fabels blog for future updates to the series. Boxed water has positioned itself as the eco-friendly alternative to plastic bottled water. One brand literally has named itself Boxed Water Is Better. But the reality is that boxed water is not the environmental savior it touts itself to be. The boxed water industry says it has four main reasons why it claims the box is better for the environment than plastic...Read More