Great “green-ifying” with the GoodGuide

Going green can be a long process…it certainly doesn’t happen overnight, in a week, or even a month, without massive changes and a lot of expense.

You can’t just take everything from the cupboards, cabinets and under the sink and toss them.  (Wouldn’t that be contradictory… just blobbing it all down the drain!) And sometimes it’s really difficult to leave behind those products that you’ve given your loyalty to for so long.  But don’t you just wonder… what have I pledged my allegiance to?

My dear husband (yes, he’s finally catching on… if I could just get him to turn off that perpetually running faucet!) told me about a brand new fab site he discovered called the GoodGuide.

They have researched, reviewed and rated over 61,000 (!) personal care and household chemical products for safety, health and green criteria, so they’re making it easy to find products that are right for you and good for the planet. Can you believe no one else has done this! You can “verify” manufacturer claims, “identify” the content and make a “green-ified” decision… Finally, a central resource for seeing what’s behind the label instead of trusting what the label tells us we need to know!

And they don’t just pan some products…they actually give you alternative choices. It’s really hard to explain how much great info they give you, but they even rate the companies that manufacturer the products – if their products are good, but their business practices stink, they let you know.  You really have to try it…

Isn’t it great to sometimes land on the ground floor of something new and cool.  Congratulations… you have landed!

(if you feel compelled, this is a video of the creator of GoodGuide talking about the site at TechCrunch50 earlier this month — Click here.)


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"Going green" has always been a part of my daily life. It began, as a little girl, when I helped my mom gather the recyclables and deliver them to a recycling center. It continues today, as a mom myself, when I teach my own children those same responsible virtues.

There are so many more facets of going green in the modern day, and the definition of the term reaches far beyond simple recycling. But going green isn't just about installing solar panels on your rooftop... it's about all the little choices that make the biggest difference. From food choices, to cleaning your home, to saving money on your monthly utility bills and consumption; the choices are vast.

However, there is a popular misconception that "going green" will "cost you green." We're inundated with green products, eco-friendly formulas, organics and mountains of options, making it seem that going green is an investment rather than an opportunity.

Well, I'm here to help dispel that myth and actually show you all of the ways you can live green, keep your family healthy, and benefit the environment without sacrificing anything, including your money.

When you make wise choices to gain the most benefit, relieve the burden on the environment, and save money to use elsewhere, everyone wins. You've already taken the first step. You've come here for help to make it happen.

Put these tips into action, and you will soon find that you can "save green" while you "go green"!

6 thoughts on “Great “green-ifying” with the GoodGuide

  1. Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database has been doing this for personal care products for years, and, from what I have seen in the Good Guide, much more thoroughly. I think there is some greenwashing going on with the Good Guide. My first shock came when I saw Snuggle Fabric Softener Sheets given an excellent health rating. Dryer sheets contain a host of chemicals, including phthalates (many of which were recently banned in the Product Safety Reform act for use in products intended for children under 12). Check out National Geographic’s Green Guide on Dryer Sheets http://thegreenguide.com/reports/product.mhtml?id=78&sec=2

    Here’s some of what can be typically found in dryer sheets and what these chemicals have been linked to:

    * Benzyl acetate: Linked to pancreatic cancer
    * Benzyl Alcohol: Upper respiratory tract irritant
    * Ethanol: On the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list and can cause central nervous system disorders
    * Limonene: Suspected Gastrointestinal or Liver Toxicant, Immunotoxicant,
    Kidney Toxicant, Neurotoxicant, Respiratory Toxicant, and Skin or Sense Organ Toxicant
    * A-Terpineol: Can cause respiratory problems, including fatal edema, and central nervous system damage
    * Ethyl Acetate: A narcotic on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list
    * Camphor: Causes central nervous system disorders
    * Chloroform: Neurotoxic, anesthetic and carcinogenic
    * Linalool: A narcotic that causes central nervous system disorders
    * Pentane: A chemical known to be harmful if inhaled

    Health effects from being exposed to the chemicals in fabric softeners include:

    * Central nervous system disorders
    * Headaches
    * Nausea
    * Vomiting
    * Dizziness
    * Blood pressure reduction
    * Irritation to skin, mucus membranes and respiratory tract
    * Pancreatic cancer

  2. Dark Green Fabric Softener

    By the way, a fantastic natural fabric softener and deodorizer is vinegar and it is by far the most economical. Just put 1/2 to 1 cup in your rinse cycle and it gets rid of static, freshens clothes (no they do not end up smelling like vinegar), reduces wrinkles, softens fabrics, and cleans your washing machine!

  3. Tiffany – well, that’s a bit bothersome. The things I looked up seemed fairly accurate from what I already knew of the products. I truly hope this isn’t a case of greenwashing because it sounds like it could be a really valuable resource since it includes so many categories of products. And thanks for pointing out Skin Deep for me – I admit, I’ve never heard of it, but it’s bookmarked now!

  4. I agree that these searchable guides are a terrific resource for busy parents who seek safe products for our kids (like me!). As the online parent organizer for EWG, I am of course partial to our searchable database that Tiffany so kindly mentioned, Skin Deep. We also have a For Parents page with resources on the topics we research, if that seems handy (www.ewg.org/forparents). Doreen, if you’re interested in learning more about and from EWG, I’d love to hear from you. Thanks, Lisa

    PS – We have a badge for Skin Deep if it seems handy: http://www.ewg.org/actioncenter

  5. LIsa – thanks for visiting and for your input… and obviously your passion for safe products! I think we’re all on the same page there! Please, always feel free to share any and all information.

  6. Doreen, thanks for getting resources like GoodGuide and Skin Deep out to your readers. Judging by Tiffany’s comment, they are an informed and engaged bunch! Skin Deep is an excellent resource. So excellent, in fact, that GoodGuide has partnered with them on some data. If you dig into our ratings, you will see that EWG is cited many times for its contributions. Our ratings are a composite score of the health, social and environmental performance of products and their parent companies. We draw research from hundreds of data partners and evaluate these products on over 140 different criteria. It is our aim to be transparent in our ratings, so you can click on any score to see why it rates as it does and where that data comes from. We have no incentive to greenwash, as we are in no way connected to the companies we rate. Our goal is to get scientific information out to the public so that we can all make more informed choices when we shop. And we are committed to correcting any inaccuracies in our system if you have evidence of such. Keep an eye out for other product categories, and please write to us if you discover any mistakes as we are still in beta and constantly improving our data and our system.

    Jodies last blog post..Voting With Your Dollars

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