Spot Lousy Labels On Products Claiming To Be Green & Natural {Tips}

Spot Lousy Labels on green Products

With Erica Johnson, the host of Marketplace.

Earlier in the Summer I had a chance to participated in the “Lousy Labels: Home Edition” episode of the T.V Show CBC News: Marketplace.  In this episode Erica Johnson investigates so-called “green” household products, putting them to the test, and uncovering surprising truths about some popular brands.  This time she counts down ten products which deserve a Lousy Label for their claims to be greener and safer.

An eye opener and must watch for eco-conscious people like you! The episode aired a few days ago but it is also available online, you can watch the full episode on their website *HERE*

Here are also a few useful tips on how you can spot lousy labels on “green” home products (from their website):

Spot lousy labels

1. Be wary of “green” cleaners that won’t list their ingredients on the label

2. Check the label for some indication that the claims have been independently verified

3. Look closely at any eco-friendly seal on the package: some look official, but may be the company’s own

4. Be skeptical of wiggle-words like “contains natural ingredients”

5. Read the fine print: “natural” products can still be harmful or toxic

6. Make sure a product’s claims are specific: vague green claims can be meaningless

And don’t forget that vinegar, lemon and baking soda make some wonderful cleaning solutions for your entire house! No chemicals and safe for your entire family.  For tips on how to use home-made cleaners check out our green cleaning tips here.

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Angela V

Founder and Writer at One Smiley Monkey blog
Hi, my name is Angela van Tijn and I live in Vancouver, Canada with my wonderful husband, our two boys and our puppy. I am the founder and primary contributor behind One Smiley Monkey. Welcome to my blog!
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29 responses to “Spot Lousy Labels On Products Claiming To Be Green & Natural {Tips}”

  1. Elva Roberts — September 17, 2012 @ 9:47 am (#)

    September 17- As a consumer, it is discouraging to find out that some companies are taking advantage of people who are really trying to be ecologically responsible. I have been slowly buying ‘green’ products. I usually read labels on all food stuffs. I realize now that it is still consumer beware and just because it is called “green’, ‘taint necessarily so! Thank you and the good people on “Maketplace’ who work so hard trying to bring the latest scams on consumers. -el03ro

    Reply

  2. NYCmama1 — September 17, 2012 @ 11:31 am (#)

    Great episode! Thanks so much for sharing it and congratulations for being part of it!

    Reply

  3. amy v — September 17, 2012 @ 1:09 pm (#)

    great tips!! i’m one who figures that if the label says ‘environmentally safe’ or something like that, it’s safe for that and my family…not always the case!!

    Reply

  4. Carole Ingram — September 20, 2012 @ 10:02 pm (#)

    Yes, that is very true, “natural products” can still be harmful to you!!! So think twice before using a natural product, do your research on each one and use your best judgement. Great post!!

    Reply

  5. Sania Akbar — September 23, 2012 @ 12:14 am (#)

    NIce tips .. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Reply

  6. Donna L. — December 14, 2012 @ 9:29 pm (#)

    thanks for the good info.

    Reply

  7. cathy henatyszen — January 5, 2013 @ 7:11 pm (#)

    I just watched a tv program on this same topic, good topic to discuss

    Reply

  8. Nena Sinclair — March 27, 2013 @ 1:23 am (#)

    Thank you, this is good to know, I’ve often wondered about certain “natural” cleaning products, now I know what to look for! 🙂

    Reply

  9. Debbie Bashford — July 3, 2013 @ 8:20 am (#)

    Best show on TV can’t wait for the new season to start

    Reply

  10. Debbie White Beattie — July 3, 2013 @ 11:59 am (#)

    I can’t believe companies can get away with that stuff. Green should be all natural!

    Reply

  11. Dayna — August 5, 2013 @ 8:26 pm (#)

    We use our DVR to watch all the Marketplace episodes and hubby and I just watched this one a few weeks ago! I didn’t know that was you 🙂 That (as well as all their episodes!) was very informative. You really do have to watch and research. I never take companies word because so many things are misleading or an out right lie. It’s so sad that that is the world we live in today!

    Reply

  12. Sandy Cain — August 11, 2013 @ 8:40 am (#)

    Wow, this is an eye-opener! It’s amazing what advertising agencies and copywriters are allowed to get away with. Just goes to show – never take the company’s word for it, RESEARCH!

    Reply

  13. Toni Marie Caravello — November 19, 2013 @ 5:16 am (#)

    I try to use only natural cleaners, but my husband insists on buying Simple Green. I don’t like the smell and I am not even sure if it’s got loads of chemicals in it and the color is green so the can call it Simple Green and trick you into thinking it’s “natural.” I use vinegar, baking soda, peroxide, essential oils, Shaklee dish and laundry soaps. I do the best I can. Lemon is also great. Thanks.

    Reply

  14. Laurie P — March 4, 2014 @ 6:03 am (#)

    I’ve seen this episode twice!! Definitely gives us something more to think about. I haven’t purchased any “cleaners” for quite some time. Actually that’s not true, I tend to always have some lysol wipes kicking around one of the bathrooms (for the guys). But I do avoid using them. Other than that, I have a stockpile of vinegar, rubbing alcohol/water mix (for the extra yucky stuff), and rely on lemons too. Recently I’ve tried the baking soda/peroxide on bakeware…..a miracle!!!

    Reply

  15. DARLENE W — September 6, 2014 @ 10:23 am (#)

    Have always wondered how “GREEN” some products really are. Just read the label

    Reply

  16. Anna W — October 20, 2014 @ 9:39 am (#)

    I never heard of that show before, thank you for posting the link. It’s a shame how some companies try to take advantage of trusting consumers.

    Reply

  17. Elizabeth+Matthiesen — October 27, 2014 @ 6:49 pm (#)

    Things seem to be a lot tougher in Germany re labelling compared to Canada. There all ingredients have to be on the product. After a nasty case of cheating where packaging firms were repacking produce that had already passed its sell by date and reselling, even meat now has to be labelled so that it can be followed back to the farm the animal came from.

    Reply

  18. Jeannie — November 12, 2014 @ 8:38 pm (#)

    This is a great article on briefly introducing how to spot ‘fake’ green products! After having kids I try to use as many all natural products as possible in our home now.

    Reply

  19. DARLENE+W — November 19, 2014 @ 3:41 pm (#)

    Good to know

    Reply

  20. kathy downey — February 26, 2015 @ 5:58 am (#)

    Thanks for sharing,its a real eye-opener

    Reply

  21. kathy downey — March 16, 2015 @ 6:10 am (#)

    This is a very good topic to discuss.

    Reply

  22. kathy downey — March 29, 2015 @ 7:50 am (#)

    Thanks for sharing these great tips

    Reply

  23. kathy downey — May 1, 2015 @ 7:23 am (#)

    Now I have to put these tips to use

    Reply

  24. kathy downey — June 12, 2015 @ 8:46 am (#)

    Your tips worked perfect,passed on to my daughter

    Reply

  25. kathy downey — June 26, 2015 @ 12:18 pm (#)

    Be a good consumer and research before you buy

    Reply

  26. kathy downey — February 12, 2016 @ 8:57 am (#)

    Natural or non-natural you need to do your homework before you use it in your home if you have kids and pets

    Reply

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