Greenwash Of The Week: Ortho EcoSense Bug Killer.


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*Not intended to imply environmental safety either alone or compared to other products” – you know you are in for a good Greenwash of the Week when that disclaimer is on a product labeled as “EcoSense”. They are telling you right off the bat that their product might not really be eco-anything! Ortho is selling an insect killer called EcoSense which seems to be anything but, as it looks like the only thing truly “eco” about it is that the packaging is made from 25% recycled plastic.

In fact, it’s so “green” they offer the following warnings:

  • Do not apply directly to or near water, storm drains, or drainage ditches.
  • Do not apply when windy.
  • To prevent product run-off do not overwater treated areas or apply prior to heavy rainfall.
  • Rinse skin immediately with plenty of water for 15-20 minutes. Call a poison control center or doctor for treatment advice.

Sure sounds like a green, eco-friendly product to me! In fact, 81.25% of the ingredients are just listed as “other ingredients”. Sorry, I try to avoid products that won’t tell me what they have in them. Do not fall for labels alone – do your homework. In this case, the company actually put some sort of “we might not be eco-friendly at all” label right on the front, but I bet many people see the bigger “EcoSense” and grab the product thinking they are doing the right thing. That is what the company is hoping for, so don’t let them fool you.

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  1. Ha! David, I saw this myself the other week and immediately thought of your Greenwashing series. I don’t think it gets much better [or worse, I guess] than this one!

  2. I suppose I count it a good thing that I am forced to carefully inspect ALL products, regardless of whether or not they are marketed as “green”.

    It seems to make me more aware as a whole.

    Regardless of that fact, if I see something like this (misleading techniques)… I tend to avoid that companies products altogether!

  3. I used the indoor version. It does say it’s safe for pets & kids. It also says its active ingredient is soybean oil.

    I had to leave my apartment for a week because the fumes were so strong.

    Bad product.

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