Understanding green claims
Consumers increasingly are looking for green products, but what exactly does green mean? Is it recycled content? Recyclable? Made with local materials? Made with natural materials? Grown without the use of hormones or antibiotics?
As manufacturers have seen the awareness of environmentally friendly products and the number of eco-conscious consumers has increased, the number of products claiming to be green or environmentally friendly has increased. And the risk of greenwashing, a practice where manufacturers or retailers make unsubstantiated environmental claims, is ever more prevalent.1
Today, some claims are easy to see through. However, many are not so clear-cut. “One hundred percent pure spring water from the mountains of Canada” sounds pretty good, but “pure” according to whom?
To be sure that the products you buy, use and consume are truly environmentally friendly, look for measurable claims that have been validated by a third party. UL validates environmental claims such as recycled content, regional materials, rapidly renewable content, recyclability, volatile organic compound (VOC) content, reclamation, mold-resistance and energy efficiency.
“Greenwashing: Nearly All Products’ Eco-Friendly Claims Are Bogus or Misleading,” Time, 23 May 2011. Web: 9 May 2013.