Greenwash Of The Week: Air Wick Agua Essences.


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“Captures the renewed freshness of an open field dotted with flowers after a cool, gentle morning rain.”

“Captures the freshness of a blend of crisp papaya, mango and water flowers from a remote island paradise.”

Sounds lovely, right? Well, that’s what Air Wick wants you to believe in their advertising of their new Agua Essences home fragrances – “Bring the freshness of nature into your home”. Except for the fact that judging by their ingredients these products are pretty far away from nature and freshness, it’s a great advertising slogan. Luckily for me, the parent company has the MSDS sheets on their website for their fragrance diffusers, so I downloaded one and took a look. Want to know what it had to say about this product that is supposed to “Bring the freshness of nature into your home”?

  • May cause sensitization by skin contact
  • If swallowed seek medical advice immediately.
  • Harmful to aquatic organisms. May cause long-term adverse effects in the aquatic environment
  • Do not allow product to enter waterways
  • There was a list of ingredients a mile long, most of which are unpronounceable chemical names

So, as you can see, this product is not exactly as “natural” as they try to market it as. And as usual, instead of providing something that is truly natural to make your house smell better, a company takes what I imagine is the much cheaper way out. My advice? Forget all these fake smells and get some plants or open some windows. Boil some water with cinnamon in it. Bake a pie. Do anything other than spray toxic chemicals all over your house. There are a lot of ways to freshen the air in your home naturally. Your family and pets will thank you for it!

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  1. I definitely love this site =) These are the types of little things that I notice through the day and wonder about what kind of impact they have and how we should feel about them.

    We’re so quick to just buy and distribute whatever chemicals in our homes, just for convenience. I just cringe thinking about whatever wastes must be produced in making these types of things, and their little plastic containers that will end up in a landfill someday.

    I love the idea of boiling water with cinnamon in it! Although the extra energy use would make me feel guilty.. but it just sounds like such a nice idea, especially for the holidays =)

  2. thank you, thank you I feel the exact same way about air fresheners. I say to myself every time I see such commercials “yes, and you enjoy the lovely phenols, terpenes and diflueroethane”.

    air fresheners… definately not worth the cancer.

  3. Because that is what greenwashing is – making you think it is something healthy, natural, “green” – by it’s marketing. This is exactly what they are doing. Want something that smells like nature? Open a window or buy a plant; no need to use toxic chemicals to mimic something that occurs naturally.

  4. I’m not a big fan of the fake flower smell of air freshners either but from the above statements I don’t understand where you get that Air Wick is claiming that their product is environmentally friendly. From the statemtns you quote, Air Wick claims that it smells “like nature”, which just about any product that uses chemicals to make a flower smell can or has claimed, not that it is MADE with natural ingredients. ????

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