Since the green movement began, great changes have taken place in the environment, in the workplace and the home. Many people have discovered the dangerous ingredients found in most household cleaning products. As demand for safer, all-natural cleaning products has risen, so have the dollar signs. Corporate giants such as Clorox saw the great potential to make lots of money off the rising demand for eco-friendly cleaning products. With new products popping up on a daily basis, it is difficult to spot cleaning products that are authentically green and ones that are posing as green just to beef up their bottom line. There are currently no governmental regulations for the labeling of green cleaning products, so companies can say anything to get the consumer to buy the product. Keywords such as “sustainable,” “eco-friendly” and “natural” can be used without proof, restriction or the need to define what each word means. This leaves an open playing field for money-hungry corporations to prey on the ignorance of consumers. According to bnet.com, Clorox, the largest manufacturer of chlorine bleach (a known carcinogen) in the U.S., came out with its first new product in 20 years: Green Works cleaning products. These products highlighted the obvious points of being green, such as not testing on animals, 99% natural ingredients, disclosure of all ingredients on the label, no phosphates, biodegradability and no petrochemicals. Clorox wasn’t hiding its primary motivation in introducing this line of green cleaning products. The strategy worked, and very well at that. According to bnet.com, “Green Works was among the drivers that put Clorox in the black for its first quarter in 2009, which ended Sept. 30. Revenues climbed 12 percent and net income rose 15 percent to $128 million, up from $111 million in the same quarter last year.” Clorox targeted big-box stores (Walmart, Target and Costco) to distribute the products at cheaper prices than the competitors (Seventh Generation and Method). In its first year, Green Works sold more than five times the window cleaner that Seventh Generation did. Obviously, Green Works is a much better choice in cleaning products, but when an individual purchases a Clorox product, he or she is supporting Clorox. Clorox, in the end, isn’t concerned about the environment or the consumer’s personal safety. It is one of the nation’s leading distributers of toxic chemical cleaners such as Pine-Sol, bleach and 409 all-purpose cleaner. While Clorox is pushing green products, it’s harming homes and environments at the same time. Clorox is outright hypocritical without apology. In a society where greed motivates so many corporations and individuals, every consumer must be aggressive at researching and understanding the products he or she is buying. There are a few simple ways to identify the eco-friendly frauds and support companies that genuinely care about your family and the environment.
The Eco-Friendly Fraud
As demand for safer, all-natural cleaning products has risen, so have the dollar signs.