Beware of green fraud and scams

It’s great to see so many people becoming aware of the need to take care of our environment; what’s not so great is the emergence of parasites who prey upon folk trying to live a greener life.

I received an email recently touting a business opportunity for a fuel additive that was meant to significantly decrease gas consumption. The person used global warming and pollution issues as a strong part of their sales pitch.

These types of “opportunities” have been around for a long time – it’s basically what’s called MLM (Multi Level Marketing) or Network Marketing. You pay a fee to join the business and buy the product, but a strong focus is on recruiting other people into the business and then getting them to do the same. Of course, there’s also special business training, conferences and seminars that you pay for along the way. There’s nothing wrong with that in essence; if the product is legitimate.

On doing some research regarding these fuel saving additives and devices and particularly in relation to this business model, I found all of them to be scams. It’s a terrible thing that with our environmental problems barreling towards critical mass that unscrupulous people see it as an opportunity to mislead those with a good heart who are trying to do the right thing.

This kind of activity goes beyond greenwashing, i.e. where a company exaggerates the environmental benefit of a product or their commitment to green business practices. These schemes are just outright fraud.

In regards to fuel additives, The EPA has tested around 100 devices and additives and only half a dozen returned a small improvement in fuel economy without an increase in exhaust emissions. In fact, in some cases, the emissions generated by some of these additives were even worse.

Beware of any product that claims to perform miracles in relation to environmental impact, especially where you not only have to buy the product but also into the business. There may be glowing testimonials from “experts” and the lure of big profits to boot; but if you dig down past the spin and do some research; you’ll find in many cases it’s just hot air – and the way our climate is going, that’s something we can certainly do with less of.