How to greenwash yourself.

In the last decade, companies have done their ultimate best to look as green as possible. Countless new strategies have been developed, to make consumers think they are saving the planet, but without taking any extra effort.  

A great perk of making people believe your business is greener than it actually is, is that you can win awards with it. And these awards get especially important when you want to gain one of the scarce spots on WUR’s campus. Luckily for Upfield, it won such an award. In 2018 it was the deserved winner of the Swedish ‘Food bluff of the year’ award. They well-promoted their Lätta palm oil margarine (21%), as Swedish rapeseed oil (18%) with tasty buttermilk (5%) margarine. The package was even nicely decorated with some rape flowers, so there was no sign for the Swedish to think that they actually bought rainforest destructing products . Some highly skilled greenwashing!

So, Upfield definitely fought for its spot on the greenest campus of the world. But what about you?  How good are you in making others believe you are a green superhero? You are already doing quite well, if you’re performing the following behaviours: 

  • 1) You take long hot showers that easily take 45 minutes, but you compensate by telling your housemates to use less water while doing the dishes. 
  • 2) In stead of using the airco in your Dodge SUV, you just roll down the car windows. You heard that’s better for the environment.
  • 3) You buy unlimited spareribs in bamboo packaging.
  • 4) Your run a 3-hour eco program on your washing machine with a sustainably sourced t-shirt, two pieces of underwear and a sock.
  • 5) On your trip in Micronesia you saw how Coral reefs were dying . In the Sahel you noticed how droughts got increasingly more intense. In Thailand extreme weather caused a two-day delay on your flight. In New-Zealand you witnessed first hand the retreating glaciers and in Spitsbergen you saw how polar bears are fighting for their territories. Now you’re convinced: Climate changes should stop! You decide to CO2-compensate your flight home.

Can you relate yourself with all above? My compliments, you’re a skilled greenwasher yourself. Try to greenwash some more, and one day, you might get green!