Monday, April 28, 2008

Do You Need an Eco Education? [I Did!]

I grew up with one optimistic parent and one pessimistic parent and find myself fluctuating between the two extremes. When it comes to green products, however, I’m utterly optimistic. At least I was . . . until I went to the Go Green Expo ( in New York City this past weekend.

Wait—don’t get me wrong! The eco movement and many of its products are making great and admirable strides in taking care of Mother Earth. [Note: I’ll share some of my favorite green finds from the show in upcoming blogs.] What I’m talking about are all those big (and small) businesses trying to capitalize on the green movement to make some green of a different in-the-bank variety. These people don’t really care about the earth and often try to mask rather conventional products with natural-looking packaging and hot button key words and phrases.

They are green villains.

I so wanted to believe that all “green” products are truly green that I didn’t always bother to read the ingredients list or ask all the pertinent questions . . . and someone recently set me straight. Her name is Debby and she’s the owner of the earth-friendly department store, Real Green Goods ( Debby graciously invited me to participate with her as a Go Green Expo exhibitor and, while we were there, she gave me an eco education.

And here’s the secret: Don’t be fooled by clever marketing tactics and question everything. Ask things like, Where’s it made? Is it organic? Is it fair trade? Does it have “fragrance?” Is it genetically modified? Some of the answers will be found right on the packaging but you’ll occassionally have to call the company directly. When that happens, you may get answers or you may not. Some companies—even some "green" media darlings—won’t, for instance, reveal all their ingredients. If they won’t, you shouldn’t give them any of your hard-earned green.

Don't have time to do all that research? Prefer one source for the best in green living? Look to Debby for your own eco education. Debby can personally vouch for all the 400 or so products (400!!!) on She’s already done the questioning for us and only carries products from companies that give her the right answers and meet her highest-of-the-high standards.

Because of her, we can all graduate with a degree in green—and with honors, naturally.

Question of the blog: Have you been fooled by misleading green marketing claims about a product or products you’ve purchased?

No comments: