You may ask what is a greenwash, it’s not something you accidentally left in the washing machine and everything comes out green. Greenwashing is the misrepresentation of a product to be eco-friendly, when it isn’t, often acting as a band aid or adding to our global waste problem.

Here’s an example of “greenwashing”

On visiting a local café I order a freshly squeezed juice without a straw, the attendant enthusiastically informed me “We got rid of the plastic straws, we now have paper straws”

Wrapped in a paper outer I reply “No thank you, I do not need a straw to drink” the café attendant went on to say “oh, they are good for the planet”

Let’s rethink this, unless we require a straw for physical reasons to drink, we don’t really need straws to drink.

Paper, metal, bamboo or pasta straws still require energy to grow, extract raw materials, manufacture, market and transport for something and in the case of paper straws is still single use.

So how can this be good for the planet, carbon footprint and our global waste problem? With all the best intentions the paper straw came with an extra  dash of greenwashing.

Inconvenient Truth

Not forgetting the great sales pitch “convenient” how convenient is to clean a metal or bamboo straws! Do they end up in the bottom kitchen draw deemed “clutter” because they were too difficult to clean?

With the phasing out of HDPE supermarket carry bags, we are seeing them replaced with a “reusable” bag, here’s the truth all bags are reusable we just need to rethink our habits and shop with our reusable bag.

Will changing from a HDPE plastic bag to a thicker micron LDPE plastic bag change our habits to take a plastic free reusable bag and refuse the greenwash or will society continue to pay for the so-called convenience?

There will be moments of inconvenience and frustration and in some cases moving to life beyond the plastic bag may take a little more effort and time, although through simple lifestyle changes, we can help reduce our carbon footprint, help dial back raising temperatures, sea levels and protect our water ways and oceans from plastic pollution.

Embracing grass roots movements such as Boomerang Bags, Repair Café, Tools Libraries, Eco Organiser, Ethical Decluttering, The 10R’s© and refusing wasteful behaviours and GREENWASHING from our favourite brands we can do good for the planet.

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The 10R’s© Rethink Responsible Refuse Repurpose Repair Reorganise Reduce Reuse Recycle Reward