Life gets dirty, and cleaning it seems like a never ending project. It may appear that the only way to ‘really’ clean is to use dangerous chemicals, with harmful fumes and toxic residue; we have learned better though. There are now hundreds of safe products that ‘green clean’ just as effectively with out harming our family, our pets, our environment or our Earth.
First a little information on Green Cleaning products, and how to decide which products to use in your home.
When taking a closer look at “green” products, one will find that they’re often certified with labels claiming a certain level of eco-friendliness, such as Green Seal and Ecologo. From laundry care products to reusable bags, these certifications indicate that the labeled products meet specified environmental standards.
Not All Certifications Are Created Equally
But what do these certifications mean exactly? Each different certification has a unique standard of environmental friendliness. So how do you know what’s what? According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), some of the common claims that are made in the marketing of cleaning products do not have clearly defined standards, requiring us as consumers to interpret the terms. How do you know which claims are reliable and which aren’t?
Thanks to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines, environmental claims made on product labels need to be backed with cold, hard, scientific facts. You can search the terms used on “green” product labels in the EPA’s Terminology Services Terms & Acronyms search tool. Here are some of the most broadly-used terms in “green” products defined:
• Biodegradability: Biodegradability is the capability of a substance to break down into simpler substances, especially into innocuous products, by the actions of living organisms.
• Environmentally Preferable Product: These products and services have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared to other products and services that serve the same purpose.
• Toxicity: The degree to which a substance or mixture of substances can harm humans and animals.
Despite the FTC guidelines, some of the most commonly used “green” terms on product labels don’t have an official or verifiable definition. For example, according to the EPA and National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), there are no official definitions for the following terms: Cruelty Free, Eco-Safe, Environmentally Friendly, and Environmentally Safe. If you’re considering purchasing a product that makes one of these claims, don’t take the seller’s word for it. Do your research and learn what’s behind the marketing so you can make the best choices for you, your family, and the world around you.
How to Find the Information You Need
So what can you do to the avoid confusion that can result from overstated marketing language? Do your research before you buy. Use “green” product and service search engines like the ones offered by Green Seal, EcoLogo, and the NRDC. On the go? Try the National Resources Defense Council’s Label Lookup, an iPhone app that can help you make informed product decisions. Look for certifications you recognize and terms you understand. If you don’t recognize a product’s certification, check out the EPA’s Terminology Services Terms & Acronyms search tool and learn just how “green” the product is. By Jacqueline Cadogan, Marketing Operations Manager, Women & Co.
So now that we have fully armed you with the information and helpful links to smartly choose your products, here are a few items available on this site. (There are hundreds more, so jump on and explore.)
- TOP RATED FORMULA: Best All-Purpose Cleaner on Amazon, Based On Average Customer Review; SECOND GENERATION SCENT: Rebalanced Green Tea & Lime Natural Fragrance
- SUPERIOR RESULTS: Guaranteed to safely clean any hard surface without streaking
- CREATED BY DOCTORS: Developed & Tested by PhDs, the plant-based formula effectively removes food, soda, juice, grease, oil, sugar, pet accidents, fingerprints, footprints, lipstick, tree sap, grime, adhesives, soap scum, dirt, spills, streaks, residues, and hundreds more of life’s messes
- USE ON ALL SURFACES: Sparkling, residue-free results on kitchen countertops, bathrooms, high chairs, electronics, smartphones, tablets, hardwood floors, finished wood, car dashboards, wheels, blinds, laminate, chrome, furniture, granite, glass, grills, jewelry, metal, painted surfaces, plastic, porcelain, ovens, quartz, sealed & unsealed stone, sinks, stainless steel, toilets, tables, toys, vinyl, walls, and any other solid surface
- 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEED: Safe for Children, Pets, All Household Surfaces; Natural, non-toxic, hypoallergenic, vegan, gluten-free, biodegradable; Certified Cruelty-Free – Never Tested on Animals; Made in the USA
- Concentrated solution for use as an all-purpose cleaner
- Formulated to clean water-safe hard surfaces
- Made with biodegradable ingredients and is fragrance free
- Meets Green Seal GS-37 standards for cleaning products for industrial and institutional use