Behind the label

More than 95 percent of consumer products committed at least one “greenwashing” offense, according to a report by TerraChoice, an environmental marketing company. More than 5,000 products found in U.S. and Canadian stores were examined, and TerraChoice found 12,061 green claims among them. These included things like having no proof of environmental claims, vague marketing language like “all-natural” and the use of labels designed to falsely imply a product has third-party certification or endorsement of its claims. One of the biggest greenwashing tactics was to falsely claim compliance with the federal government’s Energy Star program.

As a company that offers green certification, TerraChoice could benefit if more manufacturers seek third-party verification of its claims, points out the Wall Street Journal.

The positive side is more green products are available, including at big box stores, and consumers have driven that demand, the report says. Among some of the labels TerraChoice considers legit are Green Seal, Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade Certified, Soil Association and USDA Organic. Find more, and read the full report, by going to and clicking on the “Sins Study” link.