greenwash

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Blend of green (environmentally friendly) and whitewash

Noun[edit]

greenwash (plural greenwashes)

  1. A false or misleading picture of environmental friendliness used to conceal or obscure damaging activities.
    • 2010, Meegan Jones, Sustainable Event Management: A Practical Guide, ISBN 978-1-84407-739-7, page 38:
      People can be cynical about companies hiding behind green ideals, their radars finely tuned to detect a greenwash.

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Verb[edit]

greenwash (third-person singular simple present greenwashes, present participle greenwashing, simple past and past participle greenwashed)

  1. To disseminate such information about (something).
    • 2011, Elaine Wellin, Kristen Seraphin, Project Censored, Censored 2012: The Top 25 Censored Stories of 2010-11[1], ISBN 978-1-60980-358-2, Health and the Environment:
      But what happens more often is that media “greenwashes” dirty energy sources (coal, gas, nuclear power) as “clean”—a particularly dangerous notion because it belies the threat they pose to our planet and human health.

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Related terms[edit]