Choose Green: How To Read Product Labels

Marketers have used advertising and design to sell products under false pretenses for years, slipping the fine details past the consumer in order to get their product into your home. The increase in advertising based on environmentally friendly and organic products has been on the rise since the go green phenomenon has been in action. Putting labels like nontoxic, biodegradable, organic or natural has consumers confused over which product choices are truly granny-smith-applesfree of toxins and chemicals.

Many individuals make the mistake of assuming things are free of toxins or chemicals based on a product having any of these green friendly labels but what each label represents is entirely mutually exclusive from one another. When a product that will cause zero harm or injury to a person when ingested, inhaled or absorbed through the skin, retailers have it labelled as nontoxic. Many believe this means free of toxins but that is actually far from the truth because many of these items need to make this clarifications because there are many chemicals present in nontoxic labelled products. The only reason the specification needs to be made is because those chemicals will not cause immediate harm or illness to the user.

Often times, companies will boast that their products are biodegradable hoping that consumers will assume that these products are good for the earth. These products are neither good for you nor the earth because a label of biodegradable simply means the product will decompose. The half life of that decomposition is not specified through the label of biodegradable.

When an item is natural it is very different from being organic. Organic means the product is made through a certified method of production, without any pesticides, fertilizers, growth hormones, toxins or chemicals. Natural describes products that have no artificial ingredients or preservatives but does not specify the production methods for these products. Although each of these labels is positive in their own right, it is important to know the true description in order to find the foods or products that fit your lifestyle.