Shades of Green

Green is in, and that means store shelves are lined with products claiming to be environmentally friendly. However, according to an article on, many supposedly eco-friendly products are more hype than environmentally helpful. The story reported on one study of over 1,000 products with eco-friendly claims, which found all but one containing claims that could be proven false or that could be confusing. The article offered some ideas for sorting through the marketing clutter. First, the more detailed the claim the better. For example, a paper product made from “100% post-consumer recycled content” is a better bet than one made simply from “recycled” material. Second, learn which terms are meaningful by checking out Consumer Reports’ free eco-label tool.

Two green decisions we’ve made in our household over the past year are to use compact fluorescent light bulbs and to stop using bottled water. It was this article from Fast Company that put me over the edge with bottled water. While many earth-friendly products cost more than their not-so-earth-friendly counterparts (think laundry detergent), these are two examples where going green actually saves money as well. What changes have you made that are both eco-friendly and wallet-friendly?

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