Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Organic Products: How To Not Get Ripped Off by Greenwashing

The Better World Shopping Guide: Every Dollar Makes a Difference (Better World Shopping Guide: Every Dollar Can Make a Difference)I was really disturbed (shocked!) by a video I just saw on Canada's Consumer Watchdog site: Marketplace. The video doesn't just apply to Canadians, but every where.

I can't embed it, but you can watch it here.

Apparently most organic and natural labels mean: NOTHING.

I already knew that natural products didn't mean organic, but I thought that if the label said organic or natural that it had to mean something. Apparently not.

I took some advertising classes in college and the stuff they were teaching us seemed really wrong. They invade people's privacy, they deceive, they manipulate, they flatter, etc. They learn how to look trustworthy, so that they can con you out of your money. 

So how can we be informed shoppers?

Read labels- are the ingredients really natural? Avoid parabens, siloxanes, sodium laureth sulfate, methylisothiazolinone, and hydrofluorocarbons.

Be aware that organic hydrosols or aqueous extracts are mostly just water and are used to water down products.

Best advice: Look for seals from the Natural Products Association, EcoCert and the USDA which mean the product meets stringent standards.


Research the companies first. Do this before heading out to the store. Support the companies that hold to the same values you hold.

Not always, but often, the bigger the company, the more shady the company.

There is one resource that I purchased in 2007 which has really helped me in making wise shopping choices.

It looks like I need to purchase their newer 2010 version as the green market has evolved and changed over the last 4 years.  This became quite apparent to me after watching that video.

The book gives a letter grade to each company. It tells you which companies to support and which to avoid and why. Here is the link to the book I am referring to. Read the reviews on Amazon and see for yourself.

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