How to spot Greenwashing

Did you know that 52% of teenagers are concerned about the lack of action on climate change? And that it’s contributing to 56% of them feeling anxious.

One of Media Smart’s goals for 2023 was to raise awareness of Greenwashing.

Greenwashing is when companies use marketing to appear more environmentally friendly than they are. And according to the UK Government, 40% of ‘green’ claims made online could be misleading.

With our unique focus on advertising literacy we have invaluable insights from young people on this topic and Media Smart is delighted to announce that we’ve created a guide for educators, parents and young people on Greenwashing so they can spot it, report it and ultimately help to stop it.

Spot it, report it and ultimately help to stop it.

We’ve also created a social media awareness campaign with a series of short vox pox films from young people, supported by a simple five-point guide with further information.

Media Smart wants to help increase awareness of the issue amongst young people and support the fantastic work the Advertising Standards Authority is doing in this area.

The campaign will be rolled out on Media Smart’s social media channels during March and April, reaching young people, teachers and parents directly.

Download the new Greenwashing guide here.

And support our campaign on your social channels:

It is just the start of the ‘conversation’ with young people around Greenwashing, but an incredibly important one for Media Smart to initiate…

Thank you for your support.

Rachel Barber-Mack
Director of Media Smart

P.S. did you know we have 11 FREE resources for educators, parents and guardians? Including lessons, films and guides on Body Image, Social Media, Influencer Marketing, Piracy & IP, Creative Careers, TikTok and Instagram.

Here are a few of the latest ones available for you to download and share today…

TikTok: Adverts, Creators and You

For 13-17 yrs / Secondary school / Key stage 3, 4 & 5 / + SEND version

This exciting, film-based educational resource, featuring successful TikTok Creators, will empower 13-17 year olds with the tools they need to navigate TikTok’s commercial side, ensuring they have the most positive online experience possible. It should also assist teachers, parents and carers who want to supplement their own knowledge to help young people confidently and securely use the platform.

Influencer Marketing

For 11-14 yrs / Secondary school / Key stage 3

Media Smart’s latest resource is aimed at helping teens understand the commercial link between social influencers and the brands they may be promoting. The rising number of social influencers in young people’s lives has prompted us to create a film-based PSHE teaching resource, the first of its kind to tackle this area of marketing.

How to manage your online advert experience

For 11-16 yrs / Secondary school / Key stage 3

In this new resource, we feature an animated film and classroom materials to support pupil discussions around interest-based advertising, why it exists, and how young people can best manage it. Students may be surprised to learn that this sort of advertising funds so many of the free platforms they use every day, from apps and websites to search engines.

First News reports on Piracy Education

Media Smart’s Director, Rachel Barber-Mack, wrote a special report on Film and TV Piracy Education for the UK’s national newspaper for young people.

One to show the kids in your life who might be pirating content or thinking about doing so!

Click to enlarge or download PDF

The media, e-safety and education blogs that we love

The media, e-safety and education blogs that we love

Our aim at Media Smart is to teach primary school and secondary school pupils about media and advertising. It’s important for us to keep parents and teachers up-to-date on the latest developments in this field by sharing fact-based, well-researched and balanced educational articles, blogs and media resources.

Here are our go-to sources for reliable content. Let us know whether your favourites are on the list, and If there are any good ones that we have missed…

Media Smart’s favourite education blogs

Te@cher Toolkit

Ranked the No 1 education blog in the UK (and rightly so), Te@cher Toolkit is a dependable source of informative education articles.

It was set up with the aim of giving teachers a professional platform from which to be heard and offers inspirational and practical resources, by teachers, for teachers.


Make sure you’re never stuck for lesson inspiration again and are always up-to-date on news about education policy. Tes offers subject-based posts, and a selection of the finest themed and topical resources.

You can access Media Smart’s free lesson resources on Tes (as well as on our website).

Guardian Teacher Network

The Guardian Teacher Network is a dedicated space for teachers and school professionals, featuring news, discussions, debate, ideas, analysis and best practice.

Their blog, The Secret Teacher, is an insightful series of articles written anonymously by teachers about their experiences in schools.

Mr P’s ICT blog

Teacher and technology trainer Mr P created his blog to show how technology can be used to raise standards across the national curriculum.

He is an advocate for tech in the classroom as a force for good, and his articles demonstrate best practice for integrating the subject into classrooms and engaging pupils.

Media Smart’s favourite e-safety, media and technology resources and blogs

NSPCC NetAware

Set up by the NSPCC, NetAware offers simple-to-understand guides to social networking sites, and resources for how to keep your children safe and informed in the digital world.

As well as comprehensive guides to each social platform, their website is a fantastic source for articles that help start conversations with pupils around e-safety.

The NSPCC also supported our campaign to encourage young men to talk about body image and the effect it has on their metal wellbeing. If you haven’t seen the film we created with First News yet, watch it here.

Wayne Denner

As a father himself, online safety expert Wayne knows what is important to parents when it comes to e-safety.

You can always trust him to keep you up-to-date through his blogs and vlogs on the latest internet, social media and gaming news.

Common Sense Media

A leading, independent organisation to help kids navigate the world of media and technology, Common Sense Media is full of unbiased info for parents, teachers and policymakers. They believe that media and tech can be a positive force in children’s lives, and their resources reinforce this message.

Their website is particularly useful for finding age-appropriate content for young people, suggesting suitable apps, TV, film and books based on age.

Sonia Livingstone

Professor of Social Psychology in the Department of Media and Communications at LSE, Sonia Livingstone is a policymaker for children’s rights online. Her expert articles focus on the effect of technology on young people, from fake news to screen time and digital opportunities.

Sonia is an advisor to Media Smart and we have been lucky enough to receive her support in developing some of our own teaching resources, which can be downloaded here for 7-11 or here for 11-16 year olds.

We’re always on the look-out for more great articles and blogs, so please get in touch with any that are missing…

Written by Ruth Gilbey & Nicole Andrew