I recently saw a great example of greenwashing — that is, marketing a product as eco-friendly based on questionable or rather superficial characteristics of the production process. This decal was on the front of a calendar, touting it as “eco-positive”:

What was eco-positive (a term that has no real meaning or standards) about it? Was it made from recycled paper? No. Maybe some statement about non-toxic ink? Nope. It’s eco-positive because they used the scraps from producing the calendar to make you a very special gift…two bookmarks tucked inside the calendar.

I’m all for using scrap material, but that alone seems to be a pretty minor detail upon which to then market the entire product as an  “eco-positive” one, especially given that paper scraps from manufacturing processes are often reused already (notice how often paper products say they’re recycled from “pre-consumer” waste).

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