Research Day 3 – Skimming the FTC Green Guide

Continuing with my first pass through all the reports for my sustainability reading project for the quarter…

I have about five weeks to go, and wandered off for a while to do some other stuff, so I’m hoping to spend this week on a sprint through all the big dense materials. Kind of like I did at the end of last quarter, but a month early, because – adulting.

This document was a fairly easy read.

To go through my usual questions:

  1. What is the document, in simple terms?
    • It is a guide from the Federal Trade Commission on how to follow the rules about avoiding deceptive claims in advertising, with regard to environmental claims.
  2. When is it from?
    • It was last updated in 2012.
  3. What type of language does it use – legalese, engineering-speak, or layman-friendly?
    • Mostly layman-friendly, with a few legal terms.
  4. What am I looking for in this document?
    • I’m looking for a clear distinction between greenwashing and reasonable environmental claims.
    • Most environmental claims we see feel like they don’t go far enough, since if they were, climate change would be solved already. But I doubt they’re bad enough to be considered deceptive by the FTC.
    • So I’m trying to find ways to describe that distinction.
  5. How many (readable) pages is it, excluding appendices and references? And what cited resources do I want to add to my TBR (‘to be read’)?
    • It’s 36 pages, and ends so abruptly that I had to double check that it had downloaded correctly.
    • It has no conclusion or reference section, so no TBR-fodder from this one.

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Phew. It feels good to be moving again with this project.

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