Let’s Talk About Greenwashing


You’ve seen it in the news, in advertisements, on the television, and in your local stores. With the mainstream media *finally* recognizing the devastating effects of global warming and conscious consumers demanding change, being green is “cool” these days and everyone’s jumping on-board.

Corporate “greenwashing” is rampant. You may see the words  “Sustainable”, “Eco-Conscious”, “Good for the Environment”, “Smart Choice”, or “Responsible”, but….how do you know what that means? How do you quantify “green”?

1. Know Where You Stand. If you don’t know enough about the issue, how can you make an informed decision? Knowledge is power, and knowing the details can help you choose the businesses and causes you support. Learn where your boundaries are, and know enough to stand up for them when they’re challenged. Here are some Biodiesel Basics to get you started.

2. Do Your Research. Just because a company says they’re doing something to combat climate change doesn’t mean they’re doing it, or that they’re doing it the way you think they are. Go to the source (if you can) and find out what actual steps they’re taking. Look up reviews and articles to see what people are saying, and ask questions directly if you can’t find the anwers online. Here’s a great resource for finding more local San Francisco Green Businesses while you’re visiting!

3. Beware of Greenwashing. There’s lots of ways to look responsible without having to actually BE responsible (usually by paying someone to do it for you). In our industry, the most common form of this is buying Carbon Credits in order to “offset” transportation emissions (read: exhaust from their vehicles). The thing is, pollution is pollution, so even if you’re planting trees or buying credits from a company that’s decreasing its emissions “on your behalf”, that stuff is still going into the air. It shouldn’t be about someone doing less damage, so you can do more damage and “it’ll balance out”. We ALL need to be doing our part. Incredible Adventures’ Biodiesel Tours are carbon-neutral right out of the tailpipe (no carbon credits needed here)!

4. Walk the Talk. If you want to use these words, be prepared to show you know what they mean. You can learn more about Incredible Adventures’ sustainability efforts here: What Does it Mean to be Green?

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