how to select a green product?

I see very limited information available based on which I can say whether a product is green or not – be it milk, soap, washing machine, or Detergent powder.
What do you suggest as the best method to assertively pick a green product – the one that has the least impact on the planet over its life cycle?



  1. 0 Votes

    Let me see if I can give you some helpful tips.  First, check to see where it is produced.  While the energy consumption for a gallon of milk is likely the same if it is produced in Wisconsin or Florida, you can ensure that it is more green, the closer it was produced to where you are buying it.  Second, look at the packaging.  All other things, including package size being equal, it is better to shop for the one with the least packaging, and most recyclable or compostable packaging.  Third, does the package tell you anything about % post consumer content, but it may do some good to do a little web searching to determine what it means when they say “made in a facility using renewable energy”.  Does it mean the whole manufacturing site, or one of the accountants uses a solar powered calculator?

    Now, here is where your judgement comes in, lets take toilet paper.  There are some nice recycled TPs out there, but they are two or three ply.  Lets say the local toilet paper brand is not recycled, but has more sheets on a role so it ends up lasting you 5x longer (I think this is realistic based on my experiences).  So, is it better for the environment for you to use 5x more recycled toilet paper, including that it is produced in a factory farther away, and it will take 5 trucks to transport them to the store for every one truck of the local one-ply, or should you go with the virgin fiber TP? 

    In general, I think you are right though, it is hard to know which product is truely greener considering the entire manufacturing process, shipping and what will happen with the empty containers.  Do some research and use your best judgement, but if you can live without it, that is always the most green option.

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