Greenwashing, a pejorative term derived from the term whitewashing, was coined by environmental activist Jay Westerveld in the 1980s to describe the hotel industry’s practice of encouraging consumers to reuse towels under the pretext of protecting the environment when in fact it was primarily to reduce company costs. Since then, it has been adopted and used more generally by environmental activists to describe efforts by corporations to portray themselves as environmentally responsible in order to mask environmental wrongdoings. While the term has been used within activist circles since the late 1980s, it was not until 1999 that it was added to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary and officially recognized as part of the language. Consequently, some of the literature relating to greenwashing uses more ...

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