On the Sins of Greenwashing and One Example of It – Matt McDaniel

I’m going to start by saying I hate the “7 sins of Greenwashing”  Nothing passes all 7 of these criteria.  If nothing else everything is at best the “lesser of two evils” even the edible utensils made to replace plastic silverware in India, because some places still use plastic silverware.  It’s a bullshit standard and does not deserve to be what we judge products by.  That said, I’d like to address a company guilty of the sin of fibbing.

Recently, an internet troll teased an organic farm by the name of Wellspring, by commenting on their Facebook that he heard that they use Dihydrogen Monoxide on their farm.  As most of you know, DHMO is a way of saying water so that it sounds scary and chemical.

The employee of Wellspring denied having ever used DHMO on any crops.

Now this may seem an honest mistake.  He thought it was a dangerous chemical so he denied that they use it.  Whoever it was did a cursory internet check, and announced that while Organic farms were legally allowed to use this DHMO, Wellspring never uses it.

The concern is not that they did not know what DHMO is, rather that they immediately and adamantly denied using it without doing any research into what it is.  All they cared about it making sure they said that they didn’t use it lest it taint their image.  dihydrogen-monoxide-8

They even basically admitted that they were so “passionate” about protecting their image that they were willing to risk bending the truth is it meant defending it.  That is where I find their sin of Fibbing, the seventh of the “sins of greenwashing”.


5 thoughts on “On the Sins of Greenwashing and One Example of It – Matt McDaniel

  1. I thought your post was really interesting and agree with you that pretty much any ad is not going to meet these standards. But their still needs to be standards that we hold people and companies too.
    cori wolfe


  2. Ironically, the Preamble to the USDA organic standards say that listed and unlisted Pesticides are ok to use on organic products and that the organic label can remain even though pesticides were used. Even more scary is that the Preamble further states that USDA organic products can test positive for pesticides or other prohibited substances and there are no consequences.

    Mike Cappel


    • That’s because they don’t want you to eat diseased fruit. It’s the same argument as using antibiotics on cattle herds.
      -Jordan Wilcox

      Liked by 1 person

      • Then this is the most illustrative case of green washing. Until now I considered “organic” to mean that the product was produced without pesticides. I believe organic means the same to many other people. In fact the Webster’s Dictionary defines organic as, “…without employment of chemically formulated fertilizers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, or pesticides.”

        The USDA legal definition of organic does not meet the common definition of organic. This is the green washing sin of vagueness.

        Liked by 1 person

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