Wednesday Word Day: Greenwashing

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It’s Wednesday Word Day at Green Queen!

Every Wednesday, Green Queen is going to post a new eco word/phrase and its definition in the hopes that we can all improve our green vocabulary. Eventually these entries will add up to create Green Queen’s very own Green Glossary. Happy Learning!

Today’s word is: greenwashing (ˈɡriːnˌwɒʃɪŋ), verb

    • to deceptively, superficially and/or insincerely show concern for the environment through green PR or green marketing;
    • to spend large amounts on green PR or green marketing instead of spending it directly on the environment;
    • to misleadingly label otherwise harmful and/or toxic products and services green and/or environmentally friendly.

Originally coined in 1986 by Jay Westervelt to describe the misleading practices of hotels that marketed their supposed environmental efforts to conserve water and energy by placing signs in rooms inciting guests to “Save the Environment” by choosing not to get their linens washed daily. Westervelt, a New York environmentalist,  published a scathing essay accusing the hotel industry of using the cause of the environment to drive up their profits and reduce operating costs while having minimal impact on the environment.

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photo credit: Les Amis de la Terre France via photopin cc


  • Sonalie Figueiras

    2021 Women of Power, 2019 GEN T Honoree, V Label Global Hero, 2 x TEDx Speaker: Serial social entrepreneur & trends forecaster Sonalie Figueiras is a sustainability expert, food futurist and eco-powerhouse who has been inspiring global audiences for over a decade with practical steps on how to fight climate change. Known as the Green Queen of Asia, she is the founder and Editor in Chief of the award-winning Green Queen - the region’s first impact media platform that educates millions of readers on the connection between health, sustainability and the environment and showcases future solutions. She is also the co-founder and CEO of organic sourcing platform Ekowarehouse and climate tech SaaS Source Green, which helps consumer brands quit plastic packaging thanks to proprietary plastic reduction software. In addition, Sonalie is a global keynote speaker and an advisor to multiple mission-driven startups and NGOs, and a venture partner to several VC funds.

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