Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Greenwashing: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You!

EZ Strip, we do our best to utilize our experience and pass on relevant information because we want to help you make better decisions. If you're working towards making your home a healthy and beautiful place, please take a few minutes to understand what greenwashing is, why you should be aware, and why we test everything we sell.


Greenwashing: "Disinformation disseminated by an organization so as to present an environmentally responsible public image."


Seven signs of Green-washing 

  1. The Hidden Trade-off: A claim suggesting that a product is ‘green’ based on a narrow set of attributes without attention to other important environmental issues. Paper, for example, is not necessarily environmentally-preferable just because it comes from a sustainably-harvested forest. Other important environmental issues in the paper-making process, such as greenhouse gas emissions, or chlorine use in bleaching may be equally important.


  2. No-Proof: An environmental claim that cannot be substantiated by easily accessible supporting information or by a reliable third-party certification. Common examples are facial tissues or toilet tissue products that claim various percentages of post-consumer recycled content without providing evidence. 


  3. Vagueness: A claim that is so poorly defined or broad that its real meaning is likely to be misunderstood by the consumer. ‘All-natural’ is an example. Arsenic, uranium, mercury, and formaldehyde are all naturally occurring, and poisonous. ‘All natural’ isn’t necessarily ‘green’.


  4. False Labels: A product that, through either words or images, gives the impression of third-party endorsement where no such endorsement exists; fake labels, in other words.


  5. Irrelevance: An environmental claim that may be truthful but is unimportant or unhelpful for consumers seeking environmentally preferable products. ‘CFC-free’ is a common example, since it is a frequent claim despite the fact that CFCs are banned by law.


  6. Lesser of Two Evils: A claim that may be true within the product category, but that risks distracting the consumer from the greater environmental impacts of the category as a whole. Organic cigarettes could be an example of this, as might the fuel-efficient sport-utility vehicle.


  7. Fibbing: Environmental claims that are simply false. The most common example is products falsely claiming to be Energy Star certified or registered.


A New Trend

Non-toxic products used to be more expensive to manufacture than their toxic counterparts. This was due, in part, to the newness of the products and the small numbers of people using them. This trend has changed in the last few years; prices have fallen due to the widening market and the improvement of manufacturing techniques.


Demand for environmentally-friendly products is at an all-time high, not only in the building market but in the clothing and food markets as well. As the world wakes up to the lasting value and joy of using healthy building materials, we fully expect this trend to continue for a long time to come.


In addition to understanding the nature of Eco-products, we're also involved on the local level in using these products to help build a sustainable future. We promote healthy building environments, belong to trade associations, we donate products to non-profit organizations, we roll up our sleeves to get hands on with community improvement projects, and we consult with clients nationwide who personally test and use green building products.


We hope this information has helped you understand some of the tactics companies use to water down facts and confuse customers into buying their products.  


EZ Strip's mission is to provide hazard education and safe product options in the removal/stripping industry one of the more potentially hazardous sections of the building industry. 

Visit the EZ Strip website @ EZstrip.ca today for information on our products and how we can help you!

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