Shop with confidence on Earth Day: Avoid greenwashing and false sustainability claims

BBB Tip: How to shop with confidence like every day is Earth Day

(Phoenix, April 22, 2024) Earth Day is a time to focus on environmental responsibility, and for many consumers, that means making more conscious purchasing decisions. However, navigating the world of “green” products can be tricky. Companies often use misleading marketing tactics, making it difficult to differentiate between genuine eco-friendly products and those simply employing “greenwashing”—the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental benefits of a product.

Confused by “green” claims? In honor of Earth Day, Better Business Bureau (BBB) is here to help you understand the difference between truly eco-friendly products and those simply making claims. Here’s how BBB helps you shop green with confidence:

  • Don’t be fooled by “Free Of” claims. Products labeled “free of” chemicals or toxins might seem safe, but dig deeper. Look for specifics – what exactly is absent? Does the product contain a different ingredient that carries similar risks? “Non-toxic” claims should also be substantiated. Is the product safe for humans and the environment?
  • “Less Waste” needs proof. Companies who claim their products generate less waste should provide substantiation. Look for concrete evidence: percentages of recycled materials used in packaging, comparisons to similar products, or specific waste reduction initiatives. A clear label is key. Statements like “package is made from 85% post-consumer recycled material” leaves no room for doubt.
  • Biodegradable vs. Compostable: Know the Difference. These terms are not interchangeable. “Biodegradable” products break down naturally, but not necessarily in a compost pile. “Compostable” products, on the other hand, are specifically designed to decompose quickly in a controlled environment. Always look for evidence supporting these claims.
  • Renewable Resources: Transparency is key. If a product boasts renewable materials, energy, or carbon offsets, find out the specifics. What percentage of the product falls into this category? Manufacturers should be upfront about these details.
  • Seals of Approval: Do your research. Official-looking seals can be misleading. Investigate the organization behind the seal and its meaning. Look for details on the packaging that explain the connection between the product and the certification. Reach out to BBB or research the organization to verify its legitimacy.

Look for verification that’s rooted in trust: The BBB4Good Trustmark

Beyond these tips, BBB offers an additional layer of trust for consumers seeking environmentally and socially responsible businesses. The BBB4Good Trustmark signifies trustworthy businesses aligned with your values.

This program verifies the social good activities of businesses, allowing them to display the BBB4Good Trustmark. This prestigious distinction tells consumers whether a business is not just making claims, but actively implementing practices that benefit the environment and society.

How Consumers Benefit from BBB4Good:

  • Shop with Confidence: The BBB4Good Trustmark signifies a business has been vetted by BBB, ensuring their commitment to environmental responsibility or social impact goes beyond marketing slogans.
  • Align Purchases with Values: BBB4Good helps consumers easily identify businesses whose practices align with their own commitment to sustainability. Consumers can find these businesses by searching for purpose-driven businesses on
  • BBB4Good builds upon BBB Accreditation, ensuring that purpose-driven businesses meet rigorous BBB Standards for Trust and BBB4Good Standards of higher purpose, community engagement, authentic marketing, and social and/or environmental impact substantiation.

For more information

Visit BBB’s green HQ for more tips on reducing your carbon footprint and BBB4Good to verify the social good activities of businesses before you do business with them.


Kryistyna Hook
Senior Director Brand Strategies & Social Impact  |  928.302.3701


Reprinted by permission of the Better Business Bureau, © 2024.

BBB Pacific Southwest shares tips to protect yourself from tax scams

(February 6, 2024) – Tax scams are among the most stubborn cons out there. They reappear often, each time with a slightly different spin. The main theme is scammers posing as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), trying to trick people into either paying up or sharing personal information.


Common tax scams to look out for:

  • IRS Impersonation Scams: Often initiated by phone calls, one involves fake tax demands with threats of arrest, while the other tricks victims into providing personal information under the false pretense of issuing tax refunds, with a specific focus on college students and the claim of unpaid “federal student tax.”
  • Tax Identity Theft Scams: Watch out for tax identity theft, where scammers use your government ID to file false tax returns or secure employment, often unnoticed until the IRS informs you of suspicious activity.
  • Email Phishing Scams: The emails appear to be from the IRS and include a link to a fake website intended to mirror the official IRS website. These emails contain the direction “you are to update your IRS e-file immediately.” The emails sometimes mention and IRSgov (without a dot between “IRS” and “gov”).


BBB offers tips to help you avoid tax scams:

  • The best way to avoid tax identity theft is to file your taxes as early as possible before a scammer has the chance to use your information to file a fake return.
  • Write down your Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) from the IRS before you file your return. This is a six-digit number, which, in addition to your Social Security number, confirms your identity. Visit the IRS for more information about the program. Read BBB’s tips about the IRS PIN.
  • The IRS does not initiate contact with tax payers by email, text message or social media to request personal or financial information.
  • Only deal with trustworthy tax preparation services. See our tips for finding the right tax preparer for you.
  • Check out websites carefully and make sure you are accessing the real IRS website when filing your taxes electronically or inquiring for additional information.
  • If you are the victim of tax identity theft, contact the IRS at 1-800-908-4490. You should also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP. The FTC also offers a personalized identity theft recovery plan at
  • If you get tax information delivered electronically from your employer or other entity, treat that information carefully. Download it onto a password-protected computer.


Kryistyna Hook
Director of Media Relations  |  928.302.3701 



BBB encourages businesses to operate with integrity, and helps consumers make wise marketplace decisions. Our innovative approach to business growth provides the tools that companies and entrepreneurs need to build better businesses. Become BBB Accredited and join our mission to create a community of trust. Published with permission from Better Business Bureau.


Reprinted by permission of the Better Business Bureau, © 2024.

BBB Pacific Southwest awards ethical student athlete with a $1K scholarship

(Credit BBB: Left to right are Isac Urias from Mohave High School; Ligia Chang from BBB)


(Bullhead City, AZ -January 5, 2024) – Better Business Bureau Serving Pacific Southwest
(BBB) in partnership with Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA), names Isac Urias from
Mohave High School in Bullhead City, AZ as a BBB Ethical Athlete scholarship recipient.

Isac’s punctual attendance in preseason workouts, practices and games for football and
wrestling, shows his commitment to the sports. He is independent and carries a smile on his
face with a “whatever it takes” attitude.
Characterized as a “fierce competitor and loyal friend”, his nominator shares that he
“continues to work hard despite little to no support in his home life.”
“Isac showed compassion, great morals and ethics when a head referee was knocked to the
ground in a football game. Instead of running back to the sidelines like all of the other
players, he ran over to the official and put his arm around him to make sure he was ok. This
act showed the dignity and respect that Issac had for the referee even though fans in the
stands were making profanity and derogatory remarks aimed at officials ,” shared Amanda
Through community and self-nominations, high school students are evaluated by a panel of
judges for their ability to uphold integrity in the face of ethical and personal challenges
when playing a sport on and off the court. The program honors these behaviors and their
positive influence on others.
Arizona high school athletes must have a GPA of at least 2.75, enrolled in an AIA sanctioned
school while participating in an AIA sanctioned sport are eligible to be nominated for the
scholarship. Nominations for the scholarship are now open at
until February 29.

More Information
For media inquiries, contact pr@bbbcommunity. Please allow a 24 hour courtesy for
interview requests. For additional news stories, visit Published with
permission from Better Business Bureau.
BBB encourages businesses to operate with integrity, and helps consumers make wise
marketplace decisions. Our innovative approach to business growth provides the tools that
companies and entrepreneurs need to build better businesses. Become BBB Accredited and
join our mission to create a community of trust. Published with permission from Better
Business Bureau.

About the Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest.
Better Business Bureau has empowered people to find businesses, brands, and charities they can trust for
more than 110 years. In 2022, people turned to BBB more than 250 million times for BBB Business Profiles
on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on about 12,000 charities, all available for free at The International Association of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local,
independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Incorporated locally in 1938, BBB Serving the
Pacific Southwest serves Greater Arizona and Southern California, providing critical tools to ignite success
including mentorship, online products, coworking and access to capital. Our objective expertise educates the
community on ethical behavior in the marketplace and how businesses can build trust.


Reprinted by permission of the Better Business Bureau, © 2024.