You want to help the environment, but how do you identify "green" products outside a health food store? Here's how.
You will need
- To be willing to spend a bit more
Step 1 Start with packaging Look for products with the least amount of packaging, and try to buy ones that indicate that they are packaged with ‘biodegradable’ or ‘recycled’ material.
Whenever possible, buy in bulk to cut down further on packaging.
Step 2 Know your chemicals Have a basic understanding of what chemicals are bad for the environment. Major no-no’s include nonylphenol ethoxylates (or NPEs, which are detrimental to aquatic life), phosphates, petroleum-based cleaners, and chlorine.
If you had trouble with the periodic table in high school, it might be easier just to look for the Green Seal.
Step 3 Choose organic Anything labeled ‘organic’ is going to be eco-friendly. It’s probably going to cost more, too, but that’s the trade-off for a cleaner environment.
Step 4 Make the efficient choice When it comes to appliances or windows, look for the Energy Star label, which indicates that the product is energy efficient.
Step 5 Be PC with PVC Save some trees by looking for flooring and furniture made from a recycled plastic material called cellular PVC lumber.
Step 6 Buy recycled paper goods Look for ‘recycled’ when you buy tissues, paper towels, gift wrap, greeting cards, and computer paper.
Better still, use handkerchiefs and washable cleaning cloths, wrap gifts in old newspapers (cartoon pages are great for kids), and send e-cards.
Step 7 Look for bamboo Look for bamboo when buying everything from flooring to furniture to paper to clothing. It’s the fastest-growing plant on the planet, with some varieties growing four feet a day.
Did You Know:
SUVs emit three times more pollution than regular cars.