In a recent poll, we asked EcoHome readers about their experiences with greenwashing and where they turn for information they trust. Based on the responses, it appears manufacturers have a long way to go to gain the trust of pros. Most of you are skeptical of green product claims; third-party verification is more important than ever.
Here’s more on what respondents had to say:

  1. Readers rely on independent sources to get green building information.

Where do you get most of your information about green building products?

34% Green building-specific Web sites
31% Magazine articles
11% Suppliers
8% Manufacturers’ Web sites
3% Manufacturers’ Advertising
2% Contractors’ Associations

11% cited “other” sources, including their personal architect and trying out products themselves on the jobsite.

  1. Readers trust green building Web sites most.

What form of information do you trust most?

43.4% Green building-specific Web sites
19.2% Magazine articles
9.1% Contractors’ Associations
4.0% Manufacturers’ Web sites
4.0% Suppliers
0% Manufacturers’ Advertising

20.2% cited other sources, including their personal architect and their own investigation into the origins of the products they use. Five respondents indicated they trust nothing. “There's so much BS in the 'green' movement that I've become skeptical of everything I see!” said one reader.

  1. Nearly 74% of you look for third-party certification as part of your selection process for green building products.
  1. More than three-quarters of you do not trust manufacturers’ claims of environmental performance.

Among the reasons why:

  • “It's all marketing to them. In the 1970s it was called Ecology, in the late 1980s it was the environmental movement. Now, it is the Green movement. What will it be in 15 years?”
  • “Many manufacturers are profiting off this "green" movement, when their products really haven't changed in years. Real world experience from contractors is still our best resource.”
  • “Regardless of claims, I prefer third party certification.”
  • “They have a vested interest and are incentivised to market their product in order to make it as attractive as possible to the consumer. Also, they probably do not have the knowledge to determine to what extent their product is green or because there are few guidelines and little public education on the many levels of green, they can market there product to make it appear to the consumer that it is more green than it is in reality.”
  • “I feel it is too tempting to stretch the truth to increase or gain sales.”
  • “The language is not well defined and plays to emotion.”