What’s on your shelves – Greenwashing

Blog, Dwelling, Pantry

Greenwashing, Oh My!

I have this funny little habit when I go shopping, whether it’s for groceries or personal care products – basically when I’m looking to purchase anything that is going to go in or on my body!  When I head out to the store and grab an item off the shelf, I tend to ignore the front label.  Instead, I flip the product over and read the back label first.   In fact, I wish companies were required to have the rear label facing the consumer.

I know… it sounds a bit crazy, right?  However,  it is AMAZING what a different picture the back label of a product paints versus the front part you typically see on display. I incorporated this habit when I was expecting my youngest daughter.  My eyes were opened wide, and I have been reading labels ever since.

The front labels of many food, cleaning and personal care products often boast claims including:

 “Made with Therapeutic Essential Oils!”

“Naturally Derived!”

“Environmentally Friendly!”

“Backed by the Green Campaign!”


I find myself smiling when I read statements like these, but at the same time they also make me frustrated.  Why? The simple fact that companies feel compelled to print statements like these on their products means that consumers are becoming more educated and demanding cleaner, safer, and better-for-you products, which definitely makes me leap for joy!  This is definitely a step in the right direction. However, before we get too excited, we have to look more closely at these very same “improved” labels to see that there is still quite a lot of progress to be made.  Products that claim to be “natural” and “green” can still contain dyes, SLS (carcinogens), added fragrance (nerve & hormone disruptors), corn syrup and other inflammatory GMO ingredients, in addition to many other toxic additives. Unfortunately, this makes it harder for the average consumer to be healthy and to shop smart.  In addition, many of these companies claiming to be more “natural” are using these statements and efforts to increase their profit margins with no benefit to you or to the environment.

Grrrrrrrrrrr! These labels filled with misleading information is Greenwashing in action!

 Even our regulatory agencies have allowed for ingredient names to be changed so that toxic ingredients are less recognizable! Take "corn syrup" for instance. This can now be in your treats, drinks, and snacks under 6 different names!  Rather than regulating the removal of this inflammatory ingredient, like the EU, they allowed companies to change the name so the consumer is unaware of its presence! This is exactly why we at the Spoiled Life recommend whole, organic foods and a few dedicated companies to provide your household and personal care products.  If we as consumers shop smarter, corporate America will have to do better and Greenwashing will (hopefully) become a thing of the past. 

So, what can we do about it?  I recommend that you choose to support companies and products that you know are founded on principals of integrity and purity, and that are transparent in their sourcing and their ingredients.  Start flipping over every product before you use and/or purchase it (shampoo, cleaners, food, etc… EVERYTHING) and read the listed ingredients. Reading the labels, especially those on the backs of products, is the best education you can get.

My desire to support companies and products that are founded on integrity, purity, and transparency in their sourcing and ingredients is why I order a monthly box of products from Young Living.  It is also why I have sought out and established positive relationships with other health and wellness companies (see my preferred vendors and partners for discounts and recommendations). Finally, you can download my shopping lists, follow my social media platforms and read through my online articles for my recommendations of well-researched products I have personally used and believe in. I do not receive any compensation for many of the products I endorse, and we have partnered with some of our featured companies in order to spread the word about their products, introduce consumers to fantastic, truly more natural options, and expand our ability to help others.

I think you’ll find that reading the backs of labels and digging a little deeper helps you make more informed choices that benefit you and your family.  You can outsmart Greenwashing, and instead support companies and products that support your health and wellness. 

Don’t wait – start reading those labels today!

PRO TIP: Shop the outside of the grocery stores plus the freezer section for healthier meals and snacks.  


Visit our Library to search our other articles for tips on healthy meals and download our pantry swaps and shopping lists today!  Did you catch our spOILer Alerts on our new YouTube and IG TV channels?  Don't miss these 1-3 minute videos early in the week that bash a preconceived notion and keep you stepping in the right direction!  This week? GATORADE