30 December 2009

you say you want a resolution

Well you know, we all want to change the world - and what better time to start than at the start of a new year? A fresh year can be a great way to take fresh approaches that you might not have considered before, allowing you to make wiser, healthier, greener choices in the coming year. Plenty of products and services on the market are boasting their 'greenery' - but how can you verify their claims without extensive research?

Turns out there are a few wonderful websites that have gathered up the background, source, and policy information on a number of products and companies to help you make the most informed choice you can. Sites include:

Ecolect, which describes itself as "a place that stimulates discussion about defining sustainability and is a source of accurate information". Ecolect covers only materials with sustainable attributes, and provides case studies and consumer reports to back up their information.

Environmental Leader may be a trade magazine for corporate big-uns, but they have a running feed of all the latest in green business news. From Starbucks to EnergyStar, if it's business and green, EL has got you covered.

The Greenwashing Index posts advertizements from around the world, then breaks down their 'eco' claims. Visitors are encouraged to participate by posting ads they find and rating the authenticity of existing posts.

CorpWatch is written by a team of independent journalists and researchers to provide transparent information on the actions of corporations across the world. In September 2007, they launched the Wiki project Crocodyl.org, an open-source site allowing small, independent activists an opportunity to meet and share information they might otherwise have had difficulty finding.
Aside from surfing the net, you can prevent being "Greenwashed" by taking the following discerning actions:
1. Be conscious of all the ingredients in your product.
2. Bust out the glasses and read the fine print!
3. If in doubt, check the company’s website. A company with nothing to hide won't have a slew of caveats across the label.
4. A “natural” product isn't necessarily “green.” No laws govern the labeling of natural ingredients or materials, and many companies are all too eager to slap on the friendly sounding labels.
5. When it comes down to it, if you don't need it, don't buy it. The less you consume, the less you dispose.
Have a happy, healthy, and wholesome new year, everybody!!
Image via Skydeckcartoons.com

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