Sustainability and eco-friendly products are becoming a big seller in today’s economy thanks to the greater demand by a more informed and concerned customer base. But many who want to switch to a greener way of living don’t understand the use of certain information indicators, such as energy stickers and ecolabels.
What Are Ecolabels and Energy Stickers?
These are simple stickers that have been placed on products in order to inform the consumer of what kind of sustainability it maintains, the amount of energy used to power it, or the green benefits of using it. They are placed on everything from household cleaners to cars. When it comes to both the auto and appliance industry, they are mandatory for all new models.
What Different Types Of Ecolabels Are There?
Truthfully, there are so many energy stickers that a complete list would be impossibly long—especially since you are dealing with different stickers from different international agencies.
Looking at just the U.S., there are still many kinds. Here are a few of the more well-known green stickers:
If you have recently looked at an appliance such as a vacuum cleaner, dishwasher or tumble dryer, you might have noticed the EnergySTAR logo on the front. This is a program created by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure that products match certain energy-saving criteria and clean codes prior to being released on the market. The point is to give better performance with less energy use, and any product that has the EnergySTAR marker has been authorized.
Dedicated to monitoring and improving the overall life cycle of a product, Green Seal began operating as a nonprofit back in 1991 and has been going strong ever since. They evaluate every part of the process, from the extraction or raw materials to the shipping and wholesaling. They have inspection teams that visit plants and factories, do on-site testing, and give reports on the actions of the company. A Green Seal means the product has passed strenuous testing from the organization, and is environmentally friendly.
Marine & Forest Stewardship Councils
These are two different organizations, both nonprofit, that deal in the seafood and forestry industries, respectively. They certify those products that have met the minimum requirements for responsible harvesting and creation of associated products, which includes minimizing damaging effect to habitats and environments.
Chlorine-Free Products Association
Chlorine is a harmful chemical for both the environment and for people. The use of chlorine in product production has caused quite a bit of controversy, especially in the paper-making business. This organization certifies companies that have gone either chlorine-free at the processing level, or entirely chlorine-free at every stage.
There are many other agencies that offer their own seal of approval. Each one makes it clear that the product in question is more eco-friendly than other choices on the market, which is why you should always check for those stickers when buying anything.