Greenwashing is just like whitewashing in that it is an attempt to hide or cloak negative perceptions under a cloak of “good for the environment.”

This process usually causes a certain amount of cognitive dissonance, for instance “clean coal.” Kind of makes you tilt your head to the side and say “What?”

There is a great summary of companies attempting a miracle of greenwashing perspective at the Greenwashing Index. After reading the definition, make sure to check out the “in the news” section.

We must be very careful in our gardens about products that claim “all natural,” “organic,” “green,” “sustainable,” and “environmentally safe.” This is especially true when creating habitats for wildlife is our goal.

For a very enlightening illustration of just how insidious this problem can be, check out “Be part of National Wildlife Federations’s Gardening Focus Group” at Garden Rant, and the follow-up, “National Wildlife Federation Responds to your Comments.” Make sure to read the comments in both posts. This is another example of an issue that induces very deep passions.

My point here is, first I do not have any idea how NWF decided on this issue, and I am making no accusation against them. Second, don’t ever just take someone’s word, no matter how expert or “green” you think they are. Don’t trust any organization, no matter what good things they say they are doing. Do your own homework. Look things up. Follow the money. Come to your own understanding of what is really “green.”

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