Mother Earth Living

The Good Life

All things Mother Earth Living

Add to My MSN

Don’t Get Fooled Again: FTC Revises Green Marketing Guidelines

2/26/2010 12:00:00 AM

Tags: Federal Trade Commission, FTC, green marketing, green advertising, greenwashing

The Federal Trade Commission is revising its environmental marketing guidelines for the first time since 1998—and greenwashing crackdowns are expected to follow. The Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims (or Green Guides) define green terms such as “recyclable” and “compostable” and outline general principles that apply to all environmental marketing claims. The FTC is reviewing the guidelines in part because a number of terms—including “sustainable” and “carbon neutral”—were not commonly used last time the guidelines were updated.

The FTC uses the Green Guides to crack down on false environmental marketing claims, but it rarely takes action on such cases. In the 18 years the guidelines have been in place, the FTC has filed only 45 cases. Of those, seven were filed in the last year. As Americans have adopted more conscientious lifestyles, marketers have moved toward green advertising as the best way to sell their products. Unfortunately, as green advertising has grown, so has the number of greenwashing campaigns, which overstate a product’s environmental benefits. Stricter, more clear-cut guidelines—and better enforcement—should help combat this trend.

You don’t have to wait for the FTC, however. Learn how to avoid greenwashers’ claims with these tips on buying green. Check out as many resources as you can before making a purchase. The Good Guide, which offers in-depth product reviews, is a Natural Home favorite.

Related Content

Greenwashing in Green Marketing: A Rising Trend

Audi’s “green police” Super Bowl commercial reflects a growing trend in marketing as companies targe...

FTC’s New Green Marketing Guidelines Go After Greenwashers

The Federal Trade Commission’s proposed revisions to its environmental marketing guidelines would ma...

Keep Your Showerheads Green Clean

A new study finds that showerheads contain high levels of disease-causing bacteria.

From Beauty Products to Building Materials: Top 10 Natural Home Living Blog Posts of 2009

From backyard chickens to hemp grown in the U.S.A., Natural Home readers were concerned with a wide ...

Content Tools

Post a comment below.


Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.