In recent years, people have become massively preoccupied with issues that are associated with rapid climate change Green Trend, toxicity, and waste. Against this background, many initiatives calling for conscious consumption were born. Brands did not stand aside – goods with eco, vegan and bio labels appeared on supermarket shelves, large companies began to use environmentally friendly materials in their production, and you can now find eco-shops on the streets of many cities.
But how can an ordinary consumer understand where the real concern for the planet’s resources is, and where is the marketing ploy? How to Green found out what greenwashing is, how to choose green products, and which labels you can trust. And also talked with the co-founder of the Kotomka zero-waste store Katerina Sidenko and the owner natural cosmetics brand Samosvet Ekaterina Smolnikova on how to reduce waste and how not to fall for the bait of enterprising businessmen.
The Green Trend – What’s behind it?
In today’s world, any self-respecting company helps the environment. The demand for environmental friendliness is growing and attracting the interest of marketers. The new generation is especially sensitive to trends, it is the millennials that have become the main consumer audience. Against this background, products with green labels moved to the shelves of large stores – the business felt that sustainability was selling well.
A New York University study proved this thesis: an analysis of consumer behavior conducted from 2013 to 2018 showed that the presence of “eco-friendly” products favorably affects the growth of the entire product category. And in 2019, the Romir holding, together with Plan B and the Center for Sustainable Development of the Moscow School of Management Skolkovo, found Green Trend out that 37% of Russians are highly likely to make a choice in favor of goods from manufacturers who are “concerned” with environmental issues. At the same time, the lack of integrity of many manufacturers allows them to actively earn money and often causes mistrust among buyers.
What is greenwashing and how to recognize it?
Caring for the environment has long been part of the marketing strategies of manufacturers. Against this background, greenwashing arose – the groundless positioning of goods or services as environmentally friendly and natural. Bottled water companies were among the first to advertise their product as environmentally friendly. In their promo videos, they showed natural landscapes, lakes, and springs – this caused a lot of indignation on the part of environmental organizations since the product itself was packaged in non-environmental plastic. However, the demand for such products grew precisely because of the marketing strategies that manufacturers are actively using today. In order not to become a victim of marketing, it is necessary to consciously approach the choice of goods and be able to distinguish real ecological products from eco-fakes.
While shopping, it is worth opting for reusable glass packaging, since, unlike plastic, it is a biodegradable material. Truly sustainable products cannot be sold in plastic. In addition, it is necessary to pay attention to the composition of the product, even if the label says “sugar-free” in large print. No need to go for green packaging and eco, bio, organic, or natural stamps – in most cases, these statements are not substantiated by anything. The “non-GMO” status is also a marketing ploy. In 2012, Green Trend the labeling was banned: it says that the product does not contain a harmful component that cannot be used according to GOST anyway. For a more detailed dive into the topic, you should familiarize yourself with recognized international certificates that prove the environmental friendliness of the product. There are also certificates in the field of cosmetology,
Eco, vegan, bio – what’s the difference?
Eco is a label that indicates that the risk of damage to nature is reduced during the production of a product or the provision of a service, and the composition of the product does not harm the environment. It can be found on the packaging of goods of different categories: food, cosmetics, paper, household chemicals, and more. But it is important to know that such an icon is not regulated by certificates.
Vegan – means that the product does not contain components of animal origin. These Green Trend include all products of animal origin: meat, eggs, honey, collagen, and more. The label does not state that the product has not been tested on animals.
Bio is a label applied mainly to plant and animal products. GOST clarifies bio – “milk processing product enriched with probiotics and/or prebiotics”. That is special substances that stimulate the microflora. Bio-cosmetics do not involve soil pollution or air emissions.
Organic – refers to products that are produced without the use of mineral and chemical fertilizers. These products are grown on land that has not been cultivated in the traditional way for several years. Crop rotation and special soil cultivation methods are used to increase yields. This label guarantees the absence of dyes, flavors, stabilizers and thickeners, nitrates, growth regulators, hormones, and GMOs.
Natural is a label denoting a product that consists of natural ingredients, but does not necessarily contain organic ingredients. That is, the production does not always use natural ingredients obtained organically.
How to choose high-quality eco-products?
To quickly check product labeling against international standards, you can install the Ecolabel Guide app. If the product does not have a confirmed label, you should choose small local manufacturers – they, as a rule, are more likely to focus on the quality of the product, and not on profit. The expiration date also plays an important role – it helps to understand whether the product is natural (organic products cannot be stored for a long time). Natural products are usually more expensive – this is due to expensive production technology and the fact that a large percentage of organic products are imported. When choosing between bags labeled “biodegradable plastic” and packaging made from recyclable plastic, cardboard, or glass, you should give preference to the second option.
What do the experts think?
Katerina Sidenko, co-founder of Kotomka Ecospace
Now sustainability is a fashionable and popular movement. A lot of people start taking care of the planet because it’s a trend, but then they go deeper into it and make the world a cleaner place. The new generation is now generally more sensitive to issues of reasonable consumption, and awareness in life, so the trend towards environmental friendliness is becoming an actual part of the lifestyle of young people – and this is certainly cool. The advantage of fashion trends is that they cover a large number of people, therefore, even if initially it is about fashion, for many it then remains a lifestyle. For more information Global Pediaa.
The smart consumption trend is good for the environment, if only because choosing a reusable cup already reduces the number of discarded cups that cannot be recycled. If a person has set himself the goal of reducing waste, I advise Green Trend him: first, write lists before going shopping so as not to buy anything extra; secondly, to choose the most environmentally friendly packaging made of glass or metal. Glass and metal can be recycled endlessly, while plastic can only be recycled a limited number of times, after which it degrades and ends up in a landfill. We will never make a new plastic bottle out of a plastic bottle.
If a person cannot live without takeaway drinks and regularly buys coffee in disposable cups, then I advise him to purchase a reusable tumbler cup – this will also help reduce waste. People who, for medical reasons, are suitable for bamboo toothbrushes, should opt for them. Eco bags are another positive way to reduce waste. You can buy them in specialized stores, like ours, in many supermarkets, or sew them yourself from old pillowcases or scraps of fabric. These are the first steps that will not complicate life but will help the planet become a little cleaner. To get started, I advise you to look at what is most often left in your trash can and try to play a game of buying the same product for a week, only in eco-friendly packaging.
Ekaterina Smolnikova, founder of the Samosvet natural cosmetics brand
The green trend is about caring for the planet combined with a marketing ploy. Of course, many companies use sustainability as a marketing ploy, but this is normal: you just need to be careful and not let the business fool you. More and more people are thinking about the environment – someone is starting to sort garbage, and someone is buying less plastic. This information noise is deposited in the heads and changes something in the minds, people develop new, useful habits. Visit More:- We Teach You to Strengthen your Elbows
I always try to rely on common sense and my feelings when choosing products – I pay attention to the concept of the brand, and to what it carries in itself. If you go deeper, it becomes clear whether the brand really cares about the resources of the planet, or whether it uses a marketing ploy. If the manufacturer’s concept reflects how he positions himself, then I trust him. We can help the planet by purchasing green goods if we do it wisely. For example, if we all now throw away plastic toothbrushes and buy ourselves wooden ones, then this will not be entirely environmentally friendly. It is important to think about how each of us can help nature, and not worsen the situation under the influence of the trend.
During the pandemic, I began to order food from restaurants much more often. And I pay attention to what and how it is brought. I will support the restaurant or delivery service that delivers their meals in the most sustainable way in terms of packaging quality and quantity. If we buy the same toothbrush every two months, then many of us order food home with greater regularity – this has a stronger impact on the environment. I don’t like the word “organic” because natural ingredients are not necessarily organic. For example, in the production of cosmetics, we use minerals – they are natural and do not harm nature at all, but they are not organic. We, as manufacturers, have a goal: to convey to buyers the correctness of definitions and terms and an understanding of what harms people and nature, and what does not.