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The term “Greenwashing” has nothing to do with environmentally friendly cleaning products.

Greenwashing means misrepresenting a home, construction method, product, or material as being “green” when it is not really green. Greenwashing is a deceptive marketing practice.  

Green Washing can be done in many different ways; two of these are:

  • The intentional and deceptive use of the word “green” when the seller knows the product either isn’t green or is so minimally green as to provide no real environmental or health benefits. When it comes to homes, calling a home green when it doesn’t meet any green building standard and/or some products in the home may be green, such as energy-efficient windows, but the windows are not properly installed and/or the home is poorly air sealed or insulated rendering the value of the energy-efficient windows null.
  • The second way is unintended but has the same negative impact. Some builders mistakenly consider their building practices green and building materials they use as green. And so they market their homes as green homes, when in fact they are not. These builders are typically not properly trained in building green homes and can present no credentials or certifications. The builders may not have their homes tested or verified as meeting green building standards because they don’t know most green home building standards require such verification.

When buying or building a home, your best protection from being tricked by greenwashing is to:

  • Become educated about green home building and the various standards
  • Buy from or build your home using a reputable, licensed green home builder who is trained, certified and experienced in green building
  • Make sure your builder has your home verified and tested by an independent, well trained and certified green building professional as meeting the green home standard requirements for the home you are buying or building

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