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Green Washing - the use of marketing to portray an organization's products, activities or policies as environmentally friendly when they are not. The act of greenwashing, also known as "green sheen," entails the misleading of consumers about the environmental benefits of a product or policy through specious advertising, public relations and unsubstantiated claims. Greenwashing is a play on the term "whitewashing," which means to gloss over wrongdoing or dishonesty or exonerate without sufficient investigation or spurious data.
After this kick starter video, I plan to make dedicated green washing videos to some of the most main stream brands that claim to be eco-friendly. I can also do round up videos where I do surface level analysis on lesser known brands.
So... please let me know what brands you want me to cover in this series.
You cannot do all the good that the world needs,
but the world needs all the good that you can do.
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I actually made a mistake, apparently the Greenpeace stickers are "biodegradable." His sticker has held up very very well so that is to be determined, but my opinion still stands. If you hand me a plastic sticker about eco-activism, I'm going to go into rant mode.
The waterproof stickers are so they don’t wear off and can be used in areas where they are exposed to uv and water. The paper backing sheets on stickers are coated with silicone or plastic. I prefer a durable sticker which won’t need to be replaced since resources are used in printing, shipping, etc.
I also dont trust fair trade labels. They can get away with a lot of deception and still barely be paying their workers much. That's why I'm starting to look for usa made or canada made or just some industrialized nation with kind of legit work standards. Also honestly if you like clothes that aren't just pretty basic boring style, it's easier to find that in usa made clothes than "fair trade" made in Haiti
the dirty secret about paper is to make it it pollutes the water. I couldn't believe Dawn was marketing it as "friendly to the environment " because they are using to get oil off wildlife. People were so brainwashed they believed it :( I was so appalled !
Literally OBSESSED with these anti-haul videos, so unique, I think I just found my new favorite person to watch!!
Also, a greenwashing 'item' should I say are Crayola Crayons... and on the back it says something about being eco friendly and planting trees for every box you buy or something like that.. ugh.. people really fall for this crap?
speaking of crayons, can we talk about restaurants like perkins/denny's who give the children who come to eat there a pack of 5 crayons in a small package with some cheap drawings, just to keep them entertained? I had sticks and dirt as toys to keep me entertained when I was a kid up until age 8 when my dad made it out of extreme poverty. I couldn't roll my eyes harder.
Mini Rant that I think this community will appreciate. I know voting is SO important, but all the waste! I live in Arizona and I have got countless adds in the mail, mind you these are full page adds and some are on that holographic paper(not sure if that's harder to recycle) AND so many signs on the streets! There is a road by my house that has the same candidates sign every 10-ish feet! UGH.
I'm living in India at the moment, and here a lot of bathroom have a shataff (a portable bidet, aka bum gun, aka ass shower) and it's the best!! There really is no need for paper (much less the plastic wrapping it comes with).
I literally never comment on youtube videos.... but i just need to say I LOVE YOU! I hope your channel grows so your knowledge can reach as many people as possible! I appreciate that you recognize that the all or nothing mindset that other people have (for example the zero waste concept) is impractical for the average person and it is more about making steps in the right direction. The world needs more people like you and your supporters. I hope you see this comment!!
Could you make a video on thredup's 'remade' clothing line, aka massive greenwashing? (the clothes are newly made of conventional cotton and polyester, and have suspiciously low prices that can't be fair)
Thanks for another informative vid! Definitely trying to do my part and figure out which products are better to recycle and which are not. Trying to switch to more glass containers and other reusable products and buying way less plastic now.
My school became a school focusing on children's rights last year. I think it is UNICEF who started it.
(if you dont know what unicef is then google it"
On my school they sell shirts and stuff saying "UNICEF" and the name of out school on it. The money from the shirts doesn't go to UNICEF but goes straight to our school, so it doesn't really help anything selling the shirts. And then i looked into one of the shirts, and it said that it was made in Bangladesh (Which is known for using child workers and underpaying them). I then told the leaders of the school, but they refused to stop selling them. It is really pathetic and just a prove that the school don't really care about children's rights but just want to be a more popular school.
And UNICEF is just out for money...
Idk if that made sense but anyways, I wanted to tell someone.
Hi there, I’ve made a petition to reduce plastic used in supermarkets in the UK, I know your not British but it would a help if you signed anyway because every little helps. :)
are there any blogs or websites you recommend for researching brands? when i started buying cruelty free makeup i used the leaping bunny app, which made my life so much easier. is there an equivalent for ethical shopping in general?
I have been vegan for 7 months to help the animals and the environment. I recently found out about the "ZERO WASTE" movement and I realized I could do more to help the environment. I've come to the conclusion that if I don't reduce my waste than it impacts the animals, especially ocean life. To me, veganism and zero waste go hand in hand. I love your videos and know you have inspired me to be part of the Zero Waste movement and its community. :)
Question, I am looking for a swap for dishwashing sponges do you have a particular brand you like?
Hey Shelby! Can you look into the brand Splats Sunscreen? They portray themselves as an environmentally allied brand marketed toward active, outdoorsy people but sell sunscreen exclusively in single use, presumably plastic packets. Fuck outta here with that nonsense. I’d love to know what their packaging is, but can’t find any further info. Thanks! ☺️
Great video. Definitely food for thought. I try to do my part but I could definitely be better. Help! How do I get rid of all the plastic in our lives? We tried switching to glass containers, metal straws. I have been looking at other reusable things like reusable menstrual products, or products that last longer like shampoo bars (bonus that they have no packaging and dont waste water). lol Anyway, keep up the good work.
I went to a zoo and they sold cans of water. This is such a good alternative, because it is important to have an option for people who don't actively try to reduce their plastic consumption and are going to purchase drinks when they're out. It's super recyclable (better than glass), it's safer because it doesn't break so easily and it's so light.
I completely agree that research needs to be done on brands - I'm in the process of looking at this and overhauling how I buy at the moment so this is just a small point on your first example. I am in no way defending Honey-whatever-it-was but it got me a little the dismissal of supporting bees. While it may seem that supporting bees isn't that important on the scale of things, it's actually really important and something everybody needs to do. Without bees we can kiss goodbye to just about all our food, coffee, nuts etc etc - they have an incredibly important roll in agriculture and the environment as a whole to pollinate plants in order for them to fruit.
I hate, hate, HATE that my favourite YouTubers are preceded by Wish shopping videos! Thank you so much for this anti-haul - these videos always make me more aware, and therefore I can make other people more aware. Win win!
In my city you can put the cardboard cartons (tetra packs?) in curbside recycling! I’m still not buying boxed water but it’s nice to be able to recycle my plant milk cartons. I wish someone would produce it in glass or tin bottles but for the time being cardboard will have to do. I know I could make my own but then it’s not fortified.
I love your account and especially that sticker comment but as an artist and a member of the art community who as yet to sell any products, how do you feel about artist selling stickers? And when I do start to sell works one day, where can I find bio degradable packaging (tape) and am I a hypocrite for also wanting to sell custom made non biodegradable stickers? I have a ton on my laptop and tbh, pica syndrome allows me to ingest non food things (gross I know but true ¥
There is an insta-based company called Sandcloud, I thought it looked really cute and eco friendly. So I go to their website, not enough info for me. So I contact them and ask them about their textile processing practices (potential chemicals in their clothing) and I got BLOCKED for a reasonable, non-aggressive inquiry.
I like the idea of ecosia but my app crashes at least twice a week - I hope they fix this. The search engine also isn't nearly as good as Google. I use them as my engine for basic searches because I want to support what they do.
I'm so excited for this series! I CANNOT stand greenwashing and I'd love to know more ways that I can avoid it. And thanks for pointing out the sticker thing. It's something I've always thought was strange for "green" organizations to you, but I thought it was weird that no one ever mentioned how contradictory it was. It was nice to hear someone point t out!
can you please make a series on composting for beginners!! i want to start so bad but i have no idea where to start. i live in an apartment so i have no clue what to do and i would love a video from you on this subject because you are so well researched and well spoken. Love ya Shelby
I do really like this channel and the content of the videos, but there is one thing itching me a little... If you really are this invested in plastic-free and environmentally-friendly substitutes, options and topics, why are you wearing make-up containing glitter?
After listening to you about the issue you had with the Greenpeace sticker (I read that you made a mistake about that), and how you did not like it when someone asks you to support them help the environment and then handing you a plastic item; why would you tell your youtube audience about these issues and then have plastic particles on your face? No matter if you remove them with cotton pads that get thrown in the trash /reusable pads that get washed in the washing machine, or wash your face with water and the particles going down the drain, in essence this is the same problem.
I do care about the environment myself, and I also wear shimmering makeup. But on your level and based on how serious you are about his and your tutorials for cleaning products etc, it is a little surprising.. Which is why it seems strange to me :)
Have a nice day, cheering for you
Can you do a video about how most of our recycling is sold to China and then they don't know what to do with it and dump it in the ocean?? My fiance and I decided it would be best to be mindful of what we buy and put our things in the local landfill, instead of sending it god knows where. I'd like more clarification though, what do you think about that??
I love your anti-hauls! I always learn something new! With the UN's 12 years news shocking everyone, I think now is a good time to make a video about, not just spreading the word about reducing waste, but how to go about contacting politicians and what to include in a letter/email/phone call for them or resources to push for government response to climate change. I feel that not many zero wasters talk about the political side of environmentalism and focus more on the individual--which is fine, but I think now that people are scared and want to do something to help, it would be a good time to encourage your followers to take political action. Thank you for the videos. You have helped me so much in becoming low impact.
In the EU, we don't have have regulation either about the word "natural". In fact anything that's not synthetic can be considered as natural, like crude oil, powdered animal bones, whatever. How the hell would you like to buy something containing powdered BONES ? How is it natural ?! Yesterday I saw in the gardening section of a supermarket a fertilizer in its green cool packaging... made of dried blood !!!
Technically yes, bones are natural because non synthetic. However, when buying something "natural", we somehow expect that the product doesn't contain added "strange" things. There can be many examples, I'm currently thinking of cat food in which many industrial companies add powdered animal bones. A cat wouldn't "naturally" eat bones in powder (although it is very difficult to define what is natural or not for such a domesticated species, so here again what is "natural" ?). Also, as a vegan, we may experience a lot of disappointment when reading the composition of certain foods, beauty products, etc. labelled "100 % natural" and containing such strange and inappropriate substances. Again about powdered bones, it is well-known, at least here in EU, that the cat food bought in supermarkets contains incinerated animals such as... cats. And dogs, many animals who died in shelters. Yes, that's disgusting. So when I read "powdered bones" or "animal by-products", I can easily imagine what it really means and how far away we are from "natural ingredients". So "natural" means everything and nothing, every consumer should be aware of that, because we all have our own subjective idea of what is natural and companies use that trick, like a lot.
Love this series! Super helpful since I always feel overwhelmed when trying to pick the most eco-friendly product of something. Also can we talk more about tetra packs?? I had no idea they weren't getting recycled. I put them in my regular recycling bin since my town says they take all "containers." Should I still be putting them in?
I downloaded Ecosia months ago because of you and I love to use it and convince others to download it! Also I really appreciate you doing these green washing videos, they’re super helpful! Will you also be making t-shirts with that quote because I would LOVE to have one!!
I just downloaded Ecosia on my tablet now as well. As far as your stickers. Elsa Rhae designs her own and she has one that is printed on flexible wood. I bought one for my Mom and the package says that they are meant to keep vinyl out of the waterways. Maybe wood stickers would be an option for you?
I’ve noticed that in the UK some shops (mainly Tesco) have started selling water in a can which I thought was pretty cool! Obvs it’s preferable to bring your own reusable bottle out, but on a couple of occasions where I’ve forgotten mine it’s been great to be able to get water in a can rather than a plastic bottle when I’m in a pinch 😄
Sometimes you can find ecofriendly stuff in big stores, I already bought 2 leggings in a big store and one is made out of recycled textiles and the other one out of 10 plastic bottles (the funny thing is I didn’t realize that till I was at home) and I also have bought bicycle bags that plant 10 trees per purchase and my boyfriend bought me a hot-water bottle out of natural fibers at one of the biggest companies in Switzerland and that was before I those things were important to me :)
I just had that experience myself quite recently. I ordered shoes out of recycled plastic bottles from a company that claimed nature and animals were the most important thing to them online and the shoes are great actually but the whole thing came in a single-use plastic bag.. So I wrote an email to them but they haven't replied yet and I have a feeling that they never will 😕
funny thing that happened to me once, I was buying a stainless steel water bottle from the Sea Shepherd stand at this one event, because I needed a new one and wanted to support them and they literally handed me one that was wrapped in plastic packaging 🙃🙃🙃
I just started using Ecosia a few weeks ago! I LOVE, Love, love them!!!!! I love this series so much. I wish everyone would start calling out greenwashed products! Eco-friendly products are so frustratingly hard to navigate, but even using a site like EWG (which I am so thankful for), you still have to look beyond the overall grade they give a product and into the product ingredient grades because something that stands out as an overall 'A' initially, might have some 'D's' or 'C's' in the ingredient list, and those ingredients may still be toxic to the environment or us. Keep up this wonderful work! Lots of love!!!
I don’t know about just using the words “biodegradable” in Canada, but I do know there are certificates like the EcoLogo, RSPO, BCorp and Fair trade logos which indicate that the product has met their standards...
if you know much about what different environmental logos mean, that would be a great video
You've got to do what you've got to do wherever you live. If you can't drink your tap water for one reason on another then you've got to get it however you can. In some places you can buy a big container and refill at a refillery station but not everywhere.
Omg the boxed water. I saw "Boxed water is better" in superstore about 2 years ago and took a picture of it as one of my first instagram posts. I think I actually started instagram right after seeing the boxed water. THAT's how much it ticked me off.
Hi Shelbi, have you tried contacting Honeybum or other companies to find out if they're really misleading consumers or if they just didn't think to add those details onto their website? I think that in some cases, the latter might be happening so I don't think it's fair to assume they're sketchy or unethical without getting the big picture. But I do agree with your opinion regarding fast fashion.
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