Have you ever been watching TV and a commercial came on talking about how if you use their product you will be making a difference for wildlife or for the environment? Most people would probably agree that they have, because it’s everywhere! It’s almost hard to escape these misleading advertisements.

The commercial that I will always remember is the dawn dish soap commercial where they are washing the little duck. Dawn was able to find a way into my emotions by using wildlife as a benefiter from their product. Although, if we really think about it, is this actually the case? Dawn may make a small contribute to aspects of wildlife but definitely not the type of impact they display on their website, commercials, and all other advertisements. “Save on the brand that helps save wildlife” is an easy way to draw people in, and the baby duck is without a doubt a hook. When the Gulf spill happened Dawn seemed like a good way to “make a difference.” It is important, though, to keep in mind that they only show animals that come in contact with water, but don’t permanently live in it. The Gulf spill affected so many fish, and sea life that Dawn never advertised helping, because in reality they couldn’t, no one could. Their donations aren’t able to clean the ocean, nor is most other products donations. So although they may have a small impact it is us people and companies who must make the change, not rely on misleading advertisement. As Colbert says, “Apparently we just preemptively buy products from eco-unfriendly corporations who then donate some money and detergent to help clean up the next environmental mess we humans are sure to make.” This is true. We rely on company’s advertisements to show us what products we should and shouldn’t use in order to slightly impact our disasters. Greenwashing is real and is hard to see without further research, we must change our actions before disasters, not after.

By: Josie Silvey




5 thoughts on “Greenwashing

  1. There really need to be more third party watch-dogs and verifiers for this. So many people want to like as sustainable as they can and they are being deceived. I think if there were penalties for these slants then actual green changes would be made on a large scale.

    Katie McNulty


  2. Unfortunately, a lot of companies that make commercials like that acting like their saving cute fluffy animals are actually doing a lot to harm them. They sponsor companies to cover up controversies. Also sad to think about all the animal testing that goes on with companies like Dawn 😦

    Victoria Obermeyer


  3. Well I must still be a fool to actually believe they are making a difference. I think the fact that I see them using their product on the animal in need and it actually working to clean them off makes me want to continue to buy this product.
    -claire greve


  4. They have me fooled as well because when i think of dawn i think of a soap that i dont have to feel guilty about when it washes down the drain or is exposed to the environment. This is probably naive thinking but who knows.

    Edwin Doll


  5. This company has had me fooled for awhile, until I have read this and have been informed on information in class. This commercial goes hand in hand. What a good read, and a great example.


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