Is the term “eco-friendly” overused lately?
Have people become indifferent to the term “environmentally friendly”? What does this term mean from the point of view of those who really protect the earth compared to those who think they are protecting the earth and the environment around us?
For years, the term “eco-friendly” has been used as a marketing term to label laws, goods, and services whose primary goal is to reduce waste so that it does not negatively impact our environment. But when greenwashing (words that harm the environment in the name of protecting the environment) occurs, a large gray area is created that includes all kinds of products and services. Therefore, according to it, it may not be clear whether our products and services harm the environment or not. It seems that the term is buzzword nowadays and therefore the average person probably won’t be convinced enough to change their lifestyle to a greener one. As a result, there is a need for a fresh spark in the industry to get people excited about greener and more sustainable living.
This term is used when an organization or company apparently spends most of its time and resources on being green and sustainable instead of creating environmentally friendly products and services. This is one of the main reasons that we hear the term “eco-friendly” a lot, while we cannot differentiate between different products in the market. Unfortunately, this attempt to sell green products has saturated the market and consumers are not particularly sensitive to this term. Today, green products include some water bottles, clothes, cars, paper products and mattresses. Without a healthy and educated industry, the average consumer will not want to live green.
There are several possible solutions to motivate people to become interested in environmental conservation. The first way is to educate consumers about the environment and the products they use. In this regard, there is a need for a simple educational framework that teaches people which product to buy and what necessary action to take. This action at least teaches people how to live in a more sustainable way.
All of the above only happens when there is an honest conversation between the buyer and the seller about products and services. While the World Standard Organization has established rules and regulations for environmentally friendly companies (such as obtaining ISO 14020 and 14024 certificates), greenwashing is still considered a complex challenge. The more transparency about these issues, the more difficult it will be for companies that do not use the standards and do not have a positive impact on the environment. This will lead to less use of the term “environmentally friendly” and will ultimately increase consumers’ attention to this term.
The second solution is to use creative marketing strategies and products. On average, the new generation is looking for more than just a product or service. These people choose a product that they can relate to more and that is just as simple and convenient. If this generation is to have a greater impact on the world, it would be better if they were targeted by companies with environmental goals.