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!


Personal Care Products (shampoos, cosmetics, deodorants)


  • 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!

Energy Issues


  • Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, or EPEAT® 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."

Cleaning Products

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.

(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.)

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.