Green wash is the artificial use of pro-environment messaging to deceptively convey to the public that a product, policy, or service has major environmental benefits.

     It is routine in corporate culture now and also is a major feature of public policy. Some examples:

     -  This product is made from "recyclable materials" - the user thinks that it is recycled. Almost anything can be technically recycled. But almost all materials are not economical to recycle and, in fact, are never recycled.

     -  Ban on plastics straws - the public thinks that this will reduce plastics pollution in the oceans, a serious problem. But virtually all plastics that end up in he oceans come from China and a handful of less developed countries. Plastics in industrialized countries go to landfills, waste-to-energy plants and even recycling. Ending plastic straws is a gimmick to make the consumer feel good or for the company or government sponsor to "virtue-signal."

     - Electric cars charged by coal plants - electric cars are obviously the future. But when they are charged at night on electric grids that are predominantly coal-fired, they actually more than double emissions for each car replacing traditional new internal combustion engine cars.

     Please post in your comments any examples that you think might be "green wash."  It is time to get more critical of what we feel and believe/ The irony is that the fake stuff makes it harder to do real the stuff.


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