Defining “Green”: Toward Regulation of Environmental Marketing Claims

This Note joins a rising chorus calling for government regulation of green marketing claims. It attempts to encourage and add a sense of urgency to a burgeoning regulatory movement by highlighting some of the legal issues that such regulation entails. Part I identifies a gap in the law: the inability of current truth-in-advertising laws to clarify the legality of green marketing claims. Part II urges bridging that gap quickly; it examines the costs of continued nonregulation and describes some of the forms regulation is taking. Part III attempts to allay any fears that such regulations might be challenged on first amendment grounds. Part IV distinguishes the goals toward which green marketing regulations should strive from those that motivate so-called environmental seal of approval programs.