This week the ‘Thinking in English’ Community is talking about greenwashing and misleading marketing!

Greenwashing is when companies, governments and other organisations claim to be much more enviromentally friendly than they really are.

This happens all over the world, and is not only limited to environmentalism. Some organisations spend huge money on making people think that they are doing good.

Here are 10 conversation questions to get you talking about Greenwashing and Misleading Marketing!

The Thinking in English Conversation Club takes place every TUESDAY and THURSDAY at 12pm, 6pm, and 9pm UK time!

You can find more details on how to participate on Patreon and Discord!

Conversation Questions: Greenwashing and Misleading Marketing!

1. What is greenwashing? Can you think of a real-life example of it?

2. Do you think about sustainability when you buy something?

3. Do you think greenwashing should be made illegal? Can it be made illegal?

4. In what ways does greenwashing harm consumers and the environment?

5. Should we expect companies to be more sustainable, or expect governments to act?

6. What other types of ‘washing’ can you think of? Have you heard of ‘sportswashing’ and ‘pinkwashing’?

7. Do you ever question marketing campaigns that you see? Why don’t many people?

8. Are consumers responsible for supporting the businesses they buy from?

9. Does the world need better regulation on marketing?

10. “Profit is sweet, even if it comes from deception.”


What do you think this quote means? Do you agree with it?

Vocabulary List:

  • Greenwashing
    • behaviour or activities that make people believe that a company is doing more to protect the environment than it really is
  • Sustainability
    • the quality of causing little or no damage to the environment and therefore able to continue for a long time
  • Illegal
    • not allowed by law
  • Consumer
    • a person who buys goods or services for their own use
  • Environment
    • the air, water, and land in or on which people, animals, and plants live
  • Government
    • the group of people who officially control a country
  • Sportswashing
    • the practice of an organization, a government, a country, etc. supporting sport or organizing sports events as a way to improve its reputation
  • Pinkwashing
    • Pinkwashing, also known as rainbow-washing, is the strategy of promoting LGBT rights protections as evidence of liberalism and democracy, especially to distract from or legitimize violence against other countries or communities.
  • Campaign
    • the type of person you are, shown by the way you behave, feel, and think
  • Regulation
    • an official rule or the act of controlling something
  • Marketing
    • a job that involves encouraging people to buy a product or service
  • Profit
    • money that is earned in trade or business after paying the costs of producing and selling goods and services
  • Deception
    • the act of hiding the truth, especially to get an advantage
Renewable energy is an important factor in achieving sustainability.
Photo from Pixabay on
Forests are a core part of Earth’s environment.
Photo from Luis del Río on
A successful business owner celebrates their profit.
Photo from Andrea Piacquadio on

Model Answers:

B1 (Intermediate) Model Answers

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B2 (Upper Intermediate) Model Answers

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C1 (Advanced Level) Model Answers

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See you all at this week’s conversation club!

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By Thomas Brock

Hi I'm Thomas and I'm an English language teacher and editor. I teach English to adults from all over the world. I focus on written English and on conversational English. I also edit written English in a number of different fields and areas. When I'm not teaching I'm travelling as much as I can, cooking new dishes, and trying hard to play and watch sports.

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