Don’t be caught out by greenwashing

Don’t be caught out by greenwashing

We often have quite interesting discussions with residents of Southbank as they consider their impact on the environment and ways to reduce it.

What is clear in these discussions is the desire of people to learn more about sustainable living, and at the same time, they have questions about where to get reliable information.

Many people are now aware of the concept of “greenwashing”; that is, where organisations and companies suggest they are being environmentally responsible but, in fact, are not.

What can we do so we are better equipped to know whether what we are hearing and reading is accurate? First and foremost, we can be critical thinkers.

Critical thinking starts simply with “thinking”. We all have busy lives so it is all too easy to accept blanket statements about sustainable objectives or achievements without considering that it may not be a truthful statement.

So, if it sounds a bit too good to be true, stop for a moment and ask yourself: what is the evidence for what is being said; who else is saying the same thing; who benefits?

In other words, don’t assume what you have read or heard is accurate and instead be sceptical and consider the unbiased probability of the claim being true. Consider the science behind the claim. Look to what sources and references are being used to back up any claim. You should be able to check any claim with credible experts. Make sure you use the resources available in the library at the Boyd Community Hub or go online to sites such as CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology, and Choice.

And, if you want to know more about your own carbon footprint, there are organisations such as Carbon Positive Australia that have online tools to help you calculate your carbon footprint.

As the number of residents in Southbank grows so does the membership of Southbank Sustainability Group and many are attending the Saturday meetups at the Boyd Community Hub. We will be meeting at 10am on May 13 and 27 for some gardening and a catch up. •

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