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Delicious Living Blog

Green labels you can trust

As and "eco" and "natural" enter the mainstream, more and more products advertising their supreme greenness abound. But as Gwendolyn Bounds points out in her excellent Wall Street Journal article about green labels, the proliferation of labels is leading to serious, well-founded doubts about what it means to be eco-friendly.

The bottom line is something you've often heard us say: There are certain labels that represent committed and detailed due diligence, often through third-party certification (such as USDA Organic); then there are others that are simply words and marketing spiel. And though the FTC is starting to police deceptive environmental marketing claims, it's hard to know which labels are legit or not. As Scot Case, executive director of EcoLogo, says...

"The U.S. government hasn't said, 'This is what is acceptable environmental labeling' ... and consumers are being duped by meaningless labels while the truly legitimate labels are getting lost amidst the green fog."

So which labels can you trust? Besides USDA Organic, check out Certified Humane, Fair Trade Certified, and Natural Products Association Certified for personal care.

Then tell us which labels you look for on our label forum or by posting a comment to this blog.

These 15 green labels are recognized as good benchmarks by experts and retailers such as Green Depot and Office Depot (via WSJ).

Green Seal

Energy Star

EPA Design for the Environment


Forest Stewardship Council

Scientific Certification Systems



Cradle to Cradle

Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool

Global Organic Textile Standard

Biodegradable Products Institute


Totally Chlorine Free

Carpet and Rug Institute's Green Label/Green Label Plus

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