How to Buy Green and Not Get Fooled
Many of the planet-friendly claims on labels are meaningless, misleading, or downright false. Here, the words to look for — and a chart that answers your biggest questions.
Environmentally conscious consumers are reshaping the U.S. marketplace, and maybe you’re one of them. Forty-two percent of Americans are willing to pay more for products labeled “environmentally friendly” or “organic,” according to a 2005 survey by the research firm Global Market Insite — great news for marketers, who now package everything from lipstick to lemons in a way that suggests they’re all somehow healthier for your family and/or kinder to the planet. The shopper-unfriendly result: Whether you’re cruising the aisles at Wal-Mart or the local organic grocery, you’re bombarded with feel-good terms like “recycled,” “natural,” “biodegradable,” and more. What do these words really mean? Is the label always accurate? Even if it is, does it stand for a real environmental or health benefit? Click here for a chart that will inform you, surprise you — and help you make better choices.
Adapted from Goodhousekeeping.com.