A Salute To Earth Week

Whenever I think of certifications or guarentees, I tend to that scene from "Tommy Boy" when in a longish and crazy tirade, he explains that a company-issued guarentee is just a "guarenteed piece of…" Clearly, I’m a little skeptical of certifications.

Field Smart Money had a good post last week about how to really tell a green product. A few things to keep in mind.

1) Do your homework about the company. Greenbiz allows you to search their site, though a search for Target left a lot of "target" entries, too.

2) Decode the label. Consumer Reports has a search tool where you can decode your own label. Also some certifications are worth more than others. Smart Money breaks down the green certifications that acutally mean something including EnergyStar, Fair Trade Certified, and USDA Organic. Ideal Bite also has some tips related to other green certifications. (Though I would recommend searching by specific product type you are looking for; they have lots of recommendations and some are quite affordable.)

3) Not everything is obvious. I found out last night that the enchillada sauce I bought was made by Unilever. Meanwhile, the Master Logger Certification program is a highly successful program you probably have never heard of. Green certified loggers perform sustainable wood harvesting and are regularly evaluated to maintain certification. There are likely programs like this in most any industry.

While you may not want to conduct a research project every time you buy something, it is certainly worth doing occasionally to see what’s out there. Try buying green products if you can, especially in the coming week. If you find something interesting, please comment so we can all learn something new!

Photo: A northern Maine scene as captured by the blog author.

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