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Greenwashing

noun; back formation
Greenwashing is when corporations try to appear ecologically friendly when in reality they are not.
 
Several water bottle companies use greenwashing frequently, claiming that the smaller plastic tops on their water bottles are helping the environment when in reality there is basically no difference between the smaller and larger cap size.
Etymology : Back formation from the words green and brainwashing. Green "environmentally friendly" an analogy of helping the greens (i.e. vegetation) from Old English grene "a field, grassy place", from West Germanic *gronja, from PIE root *ghre "grow". Brainwash is a literal translation of xi nao, a Chinese term from the Korean War, meaning to wash the brain clean of previous actions, thoughts, etc and to instill another's own thoughts, etc. The "washing" in brainwashing was misinterpreted to have the whole definition of brainwashing, and with "green" attached, the word has the meaning "to brainwash the idea of environmental friendliness".
Source : Lecture, April 2011
Last modified: 25 November 2013


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