Green-wash (n.) (grēn'wŏsh', -wôsh') 1. The dissemination of misleading information by an organization to conceal its abuse of the environment in order to present a positive public image. 2. The information so disseminated.
I know what you're going to say! You haven't even tried Huggies Pure & Natural and you rate them a -1!? Might sound a little harsh, I know. Looks like EcoMama is trying to trample a large corporation's attempt at being green[er]. I just can't keep silent about this any longer! All I see is mothers praising this product that uses great marketing techniques to take advantage of moms who want more natural products for their babies.
First let's make this clear, Huggies Pure & Natural is not an attempt at being a more Eco-conscious company, it is purely a marketing technique to attract a customer base that Huggies has missed - those that currently buy Seventh Generation Chlorine Free Diapers, Earth's Best Chlorine Free Diapers, Nature Babycare, gDiapers, and the like. It also attracts those that cloth diaper at home but use disposables when out and about.
I actually wanted to try these. So I ordered one of their free samples and it came in the mail yesterday (yeah, a company that can afford to give out free samples is the first red flag). I was excited as I opened it, but all that excitement withered in a second when I smelled them! I don't know how to explain it, but the toxic smell was something between the 'new car smell' and a permanent marker smell. It reeked. No way it was going on my baby's bottom. End of story.
So I proceeded to read the claims they make on their packaging and laughed at myself for thinking that this was something 'green'. Great marketing though! But here is the lowdown on each claim they make and why they are so questionable:
Aloe & Vitamin E: Well, kudos. Too bad for those who are allergic to aloe. Is this there to minimize the rash from the chlorine bleached liner? They are nice and soft though if that is of any consolation.
Fragrance Free & Hypoallergenic: If it is indeed, then it shouldn't smell so toxic. Seventh Generation diapers are hypoallergenic too, but they have no smell whatsoever. These Huggies have chlorine in case you don't know. That means they have dioxin that accumulates in the body and has been linked to cancer and immune system depression.
Liner includes renewable materials: Great wording. Includes? It is like saying "may contain traces of renewable materials". Do people really buy this misleading cliche?
Soft outer cover with organic cotton: This one really cracked me up... What is the point of organic cotton where it doesn't even touch the baby's bottom? "With organic cotton" doesn't tell me anything either, is it 1% organic cotton or 99%? Why bother with organic cotton if the rest is synthetic? Seventh Generation does not have organic cotton, but at least it doesn't falsely advertise outlandish claims about its products.
Less inks: Wow, really impressive there! Less inks. I guess the inks are something toxic if having less of them is considered as something to applaud. Yet another reason to stick with Seventh Generation if you are opting for disposable. They don't have Disney characters and trade mark signs all over. Even better, go cloth - as all things disposable are not very Eco-friendly (unless it is completely biodegradable in less than say 5 years).
Packaging 20% post-consumer recycled materials: Hm, just 20%? I guess you can't really expect more from a large corporation.
EcoMama Green Factor: -2 Sorry, there's just nothing green about this product.