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Going Green: What Exactly Does this Label Mean?


Happy Green Tuesday! If you’re anything like me, you spend plenty of time looking at labels on food and products when making purchasing decisions to best fit your budget and needs.  But have you wondered what exactly the labels mean? Well, here’s a chance to get those answers and perhaps clear up questions about the labels on our food and other items. g1Energy Star You’ll find this seal primarily on household and office supplies, such as refrigerators and light bulbs.  An Energy Star product adheres to guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency, and it means that the product can help reduce cost and emissions.  For example, an Energy Star light bulb can save $40 to $135 over its lifetime and uses 75 percent less energy than a traditional light bulb.   g2USDA Organic In order to have this seal on a product, it must pass standards set by the United States Department of Agriculture, which includes not using genetically modified ingredients, as well as allowing animals to have outdoor access for their natural behaviors.  This seal means that the item is truly considered “organic,” and you can find it on a variety of foods, including fruits and vegetables, meat, and even packaged snacks and products.   g3Fair Trade Certified    This label will only be found on products from companies that have earned a Fair Trade certification, which means that the products come from certified farms and have been purchased at a fair price and the process is monitored each step of the way. Fair Trade Certified does not mean that the product is organic; however, many items are. For a list of Fair Trade Certified companies, visit Fair Trade USA's website.   For additional resources to learn about the labels on our food and other products, check out Greener Choices, which allows you to search by label, product type, or certifying organization. What are some of the labels that you look for when making your purchases? Let us know by commenting below.  Have a suggestion for how to live and work Green?  Comment below too!