Start 2009 with Heidi’s consumer resources list
Heidi’s consumer product posts have always generated discussion among Greenwash Brigade readers. Start 2009 with a list of Heidi’s favorite consumer resource sites. Enjoy, and happy new year!
- Greener Cars: http://www.greenercars.org. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy put together this site — all energy, all the time.
Personal Care Products (shampoos, cosmetics, deodorants)
- The Environmental Working Group runs the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics’ site, which contains a searchable database called the SkinDeep database. The EWG spent over a decade compiling this rigorous database on all things slick and pretty- this is a particularly important site for parents choosing products for babies and growing children.
- The Organic Consumers Association has a drop-down menu so you can find local food groups in your state.
- the Chefs Collaborative is an organization of smart, yummy and ecologically sound chefs and foodies — they first brought contextual farming issues to the table for chefs on a national basis. (Disclaimer: Siegelbaum is a member of the Chefs Collaborative.)
- The Healthy Eating Advisor is a balanced nutrition and healthy eating site.
- The Food Alliance offers ecolabels for food, including the unexpected!
- Buy local food from your farmer’s markets when you can, and organic if possible.
- Environmental Working Group’s Food News has information on which foods contain the most and least pesticides. Don’t miss the easy-to-download wallet guide to pesticides.
- Healthy Toys is a relatively new site. Many toys are laden with lead and other toxics that will wreak havoc on your kid’s development — 2009 is the perfect time to return your toxic baddies!
- This PDF on carbon offset programs lists the programs where you can buy carbon offsets — though they’re fraught with difficulties in choosing wisely.
- Buying renewable energy: http://www.green-e.org
- Appliances: Energy StarÂ®
- Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, or EPEATÂ® is a program of the Green Electronics Council. Although not applicable to all electronics, it provides easy-to-download information on monitors, laptops and notebooks and is being used by many cities and states to help green their computer purchases.
- Responsible End of Life for electronics at computertakeback.org: Be smart about exiting your electronics — this site offers tips on putting your computer to rest responsibly.
Healthy Indoor Decor
- Many indoor products contain toxics that can trigger asthma, allergic reactions and are developmental or neurotoxins. Never use fragrances to mask odors. http://www.greenguard.org.
- Avoid any consumer product that is labeled with “perfume” or “parfum.”
Put your faith in non-profit and government sites that provide 3rd party certification for products. Although not always air-tight, they are almost always better than company-generated eco-claims.
- EPA’s Database
- Women’s Voices of the Earth shows you how to make your own great cleaners — a fun project with kids.
- Don’t assume because a non-profit logo is on a product it’s safer or greener.
(Disclaimer: Siegelbaum is involved in chemical policy through a chemical policy planning committee by the Product Stewardship Institute and the North American Hazardous Materials Management Association.)
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.