You are being greenwashed

Most of the so-called “green” products on store shelves are not. Environmental consulting firm TerraChoice reports that more than 98 percent of products presenting themselves as natural and eco-friendly are making false or misleading claims. Further, 22 percent of those making green claims display an eco-label that basically means nothing.

The firm presented its study of nearly 4,000 products to Congress, saying part of the problem is the market-researched-induced frenzy called greenwashing on products that aren’t particularly green. Another issue is the inundation of environmental certification programs—more than 300 of them at last count—that overwhelm and confuse shoppers. “Non-toxic,” “natural” and “fragrance-free” are among the misleading claims because there are no set standards for what those terms connote, and most beauty and household cleaning products are not required to list their ingredients on their labels. That leaves consumers having to put their trust in the often dubious claims of the manufacturer.