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Signs of truly green products

How to spot an impostor

If you said the word green 10 years ago, odds are you would have thought of the color, not the lifestyle. Today, green means being environmentally conscious, and marketers know that. Being green is also quite trendy, and companies package products as green even when they’re not. Here are a few signs that the product you’re about to purchase is truly eco-conscious.

1Woman reading labelThe product has minimal packaging.

If the product has a "green" label but comes in a cardboard box wrapped in plastic and enclosed in a disposable container, it's just not that green. Look for items with minimal packaging. Packaging drives up costs and hurts the environment when it's thrown away. When searching for cleaning products, for example, the liquid should really only have one container – the bottle.

2The product uses truly natural ingredients.

In the United States, there's no regulation on using the words "natural" or "green" to promote a product. Take matters into your own hands by flipping the package around and checking the label. If you don't recognize the ingredients, or if the ingredients have chemical-like names with numbers attached to them, odds are it's not a very green product. Chemicals not only harm your environment and your body, but they also damage the environment. For the best bet, stick with products with the most basic ingredients.

Test your green know-how! Are you a green queen?

3It's made from recycled fibers or uses natural dyes.

As with food and cleaning supplies, natural is the way to go with clothing. The manufacture of synthetic fibers harms the environment, and increasing the demand for those materials only makes manufacturers produce more. Stop the cycle by purchasing clothing made from recycled or natural fibers. Cotton is comfortable, easy to care for and totally natural. It's amazing what can be done with recycled fibers. For example, Champion's Eco line features sweatshirts made from recycled plastic bottles!

Check out these 4 things you probably didn't know you could recycle >>

4The product doesn't need to use the word green.

If you're in a natural food store and you see a package that doesn't use the word green, it doesn't mean it isn't. Just like saying "I'm cool" doesn't quite make you cool, saying a product is green doesn't make it green. Take a peak at the product yourself and use your best judgment.

More ways to live green

Slowly going green: Learning to live green, week by week
6 Simple eco-friendly product swaps for your home
Eco-friendly fashion

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