GREEN isn’t a label or a certification; it’s a state of mind that, to me, means a product is created through environmentally and socially conscious means.
When it comes to ORGANIC and NATURAL, however, it’s all about the label, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
100 PERCENT ORGANIC means that every single ingredient in the product is organically grown: No pesticides, antibiotics, chemical fertilizers, bio-engineered, synthetic growth hormones or irradiated ingredients.
CERTIFIED ORGANIC products contain at least 95 percent organically grown ingredients.
And ECO CERT also contain at least 95 percent, as certified by an independent European agency, not the USDA.
CRUELTY FREE means the product was made without animal testing. VEGAN products are not animal tested and contain no animal ingredients such as honey or milk, but they aren’t organic unless they say so.
Sadly, NATURAL is totally unregulated: It can mean that a product contains plant-derived ingredients and is cruelty- and preservative-free, but because natural is simply a descriptive, it could also mean the manufacturer just threw it on the label to make a sale.
What Does Green Mean to Me?
At Mommy Greenest, I prefer to write about organic products. I believe that they’re safer for you, and for your family. If something is truly fabulous and doesn’t fit the USDA bill I might still feature it, but I won’t ever pretend it’s organic when it’s not.
That’s just plain mean, and certainly not green.
I’ve also been known to reference your CARBON FOOTPRINT from time to time, which is basically a way to calculate the amount of non-renewable energy it takes to support your lifestyle. Scientists say we need to reduce this kind of energy use by at least 50% to fight global warming. And though some folks dismiss everyday eco initiatives like buying green ‘bulbs and hybrid cars as a mere drop in one heck of a bucket, others agree that if we all take action in our daily lives, these drops can add up to a flood. Unfortunately, most carbon calculators don’t take into account that the daily decisions we make every day can reduce our carbon footprints. They don’t care that you buy BPA-free bottles and organic food. But I believe that these things count!
Everyone wants to make a difference, but no one wants to give up the little things that we love. Making a difference doesn’t have to mean making a huge change in your lifestyle–sometimes it just means considering the alternatives.
Mommy Greenest is about providing information without judgement. Because at the end of the day, you’re the only person who can decide what’s best for your family.