I'll bet you've all noticed how so many companies are advertising about their commitment to the environment. It's become the "in" thing to do. Advertising about it, I mean, not necessarily doing anything about it. Kermit the frog can attest, it's not easy being green..it's much easier to just talk about how green you are.
An interesting paper from the Environmental Health Perspective Journal by Richard Dahl was published in June 2010.
Greenwashing: Do You Know What You're Buying?
In a United States where climate change legislation, concerns about foreign oil dependence, and mandatory curbside recycling are becoming the “new normal,” companies across a variety of sectors are seeing the benefit of promoting their “greenness” in advertisements. Many lay vague and dubious claims to environmental stewardship. Others are more specific but still raise questions about what their claims really mean. The term for ads and labels that promise more environmental benefit than they deliver is “greenwashing.”1 Today, some critics are asking whether the impact of greenwashing can go beyond a breach of marketing ethics—can greenwashing actually harm health? Read on...
Dahl R, 2010 Greenwashing: Do You Know What You're Buying?. Environ Health Perspect 118(6): doi:10.1289/ehp.118-a246
You can also download a very good pdf report from terrachoice called The Seven Sins of Greenwashing