Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content for MarketingSherpa, published a very interesting post about Green Marketing yesterday. His headline “Green Marketing: How to tap into a $3.5 trillion market” at first left me a bit cold. Even though I have a huge amount of respect for MarketingSherpa and have had for many years I feel there is way too much hype and misrepresentation around all of the “green” stuff. From the headline I expected a bunch of tactics to “tap the market”, and to some extent that’s what the post covers, but it also coves 6 very important “Don’ts”, things NOT TO DO, that I found refreshing.

He quotes Eric Corey Freed, an expert on green design and green products, here’s a summary of the 6 warnings he gave about “greenwashing”:
1.  Jargon: An environmental statement should be clear and concise.
2.  Fake friends: If your company cannot obtain a legitimate and respected certification from the USDA’s Organic Program or the U.S. Green Building Council, don’t seek to obtain certification from Photoshop.
3.  Tiny amounts: Just containing recycled content is not enough. Don’t claim to be green if your products contain only 4% recycled content, especially if the raw material is not green to begin with (i.e.:  recycled vinyl).
4.  Running alone: One green product line out of dozens of non-green ones is green washing.
5.  Suggestive ads: Don’t paint a picture of perfection.
6.  LEED Certified: The impossible claim. Buildings get certified, not products. There is no such thing as a LEED-certified product.

There is much more. The post is worth reading in full if you have any interest in Green Marketing.