Shopping nowadays can be a bit overwhelming. Seems like every product claims to be “Eco” or “natural,” or is plastered with pictures of leaves, trees and the sage green color suggesting that it is good for the environment.
But is it? Does a leaf design on a canister really mean it is eco-friendly? Are you honestly saving Mother Earth and protecting your family from toxins because a label saying a product is “healthy” is stuck on it?
Here are some tips to look for when you're in the stores.
1) Don’t get lost in the pretty pictures and soothing colors.
There are various definitions out there which can make things confusing.
"Eco-friendly" basically boils down to being something that does not harm our environment or humans, and is non-toxic. Some companies take it further, saying their product is biodegradable, made from sustainable resources, is organic, and does not deplete our natural resources.
Keep this in mind, there are several companies out there claiming to be healthy or non-toxic in their home, food, and skin care products. It is your job as the consumer to understand what you are buying and read labels. Just because the bottle is green does not mean it is “green."
2) Do some research.
The Environmental Working Group is a popular resource that lists foods, chemicals and pesticides that you probably do not want in your home or on your body. This does not mean ALL chemicals or ALL non-organic foods are bad but there are definitely some that are worse than others.
For example, it is generally understood that fruits with thin skins should probably be organic as herbicides and pesticides can absorbed into the fruit, and then get into your body. Those fruit with peels are generally considered safer as the peel protects us from those chemicals. Chemicals such as formaldehyde, triclosan and polyethylene glycol should generally be limited.
As an example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did a study of 2,517 children and adults and found that 75 percent had triclosan in their urine.