I run into greenwashing bloggers from time to time. Usually they just irk me a bit. But the blogger I saw tonight took the whole freaking cake and really made me insane. In fact, unless I post about it, I’ll probably just sit around and vent on the inside, which yeah, isn’t healthy.
In any case I was messing around on Twitter and one of the suggested Tweeters for me to follow looked cool, seemed green and had plenty of followers, so I thought, hmmm, I’ll check her out. I go to her blog and it’s plastered with a big green image, an eco-friendly logo and the about section proclaims that the blogger in question is an “Eco-friendly mom” and her goal is to introduce you to the best family products for your family.
The blogger posted that she writes in-depth reviews of green products (which I love). So, I started browsing. Some of the products this blogger not only reviewed but promoted as excellent eco-friendly, family-friendly products included…
- Pillow Pets (yikes – didn’t I just write about them the other day!)
- Horizon Milk
- Non-organic yogurt tubes – the kind in the disposable plastic tubes.
- Non-organic clothing.
- Non-organic baby formula.
- Plastic toys.
- General Mills cereal.
She also advocates chemical laden perfume and skincare along with Tide detergent, Lunchables, Oscar Mayer and many more products I wouldn’t even suggest to a non-eco family.
This blogger notes that she does accept compensation for reviews, so maybe that’s the problem. I didn’t see one bad review on the site, not one, although clearly most of the products reviewed could scarcely be called eco-friendly. The blogger does note that although she’s paid to write reviews she’s always honest. Frankly though, it would have made me feel better about her common sense at least if she had said, “Hey, I’m lying – I know this perfume is full of chemical crap.”
She’s got the Blog with Integrity badge plastered on her page. This badge means you agree, in short, that as a blogger you’ll try to be honest and that you know that reader trust and blogging community trust matters. She’s lucky I’m not the Blog with Integrity police.
She’s making huge green claims on her blog – with words, with images and by telling readers that such and such products are eco-friendly and that they should buy them.
Worst of all…
This gal doesn’t only talk about non-green stuff. She’s got a few actual eco-posts up that shows she’s not a moron. It’s clear she knows the difference between eco and not-so-eco because she will discuss organics or cloth diapers at times and she points out their benefits. So why on earth showcase eco-baddies too? Most of the reader comments I saw showed that families are eating this stuff up. They want to try the stuff she’s suggesting. They want this stuff in their homes. They actually thank her for introducing them to a “Green product.”
It’s not cool to represent green in such a way that tricks anyone.
NOTE – I’m not perfect. Yes, I make green mistakes. AND I make them huge! Three years ago I actually called ALL of Pittsburgh out for not being green (I know dumb right) however, I did apologize. Plus, sometimes, no matter how much I research before I write an article, I just don’t have all the answers. All eco-folks I know make mistakes. I try to own my mistakes though. Plus, I would never, ever knowingly trick people or misrepresent eco-friendly living in such an obscene way.
My general point:
I don’t know. I’m just super mad and it’s late at night. Maybe I just needed a good rant to get the rage out of my system (which is working BTW). Maybe I’m a little upset at how easily people listen to whoever tells them to buy stuff. Maybe it’s an excellent lesson for me, in that I should keep on trying to be a better writer myself and that I should promote good green bloggers and writers on Twitter and Facebook more often to compensate for some of this lameness.
In fact, I’ll do that now. Here are some eco-bloggers you should be reading. Bloggers who no, aren’t likely perfect either, and sure, I sometimes disagree with them, but they also aren’t greenwashing away at their blog or trying to get people to buy chemicals.
- Light Green Stairs
- Fake Plastic Fish
- Green Baby Guide
- Fig + Sage
- Celebrate Green Blog
- Non-Toxic Kids
- Petite Planet
What do you do when you see a greenwashing blog? Leave it alone? Say something (in a nice way) to the blogger? Freak? Rant like me? Let me know. I don’t usually say anything, although in this case I keep thinking I should.