What Do Eco-Friendly Product Labels Mean?

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Looking to make eco-friendly shopping choices this summer? Don’t become overwhelmed by all of the green marketing! This guide will help you determine exactly what those eco-friendly product labels mean.

Eco-Friendly Labels:

USDA Organic – Organic is a term used to describe a product that is made without antibiotics, pesticides, GMOs, etc. It implies that the product is free of synthetic materials. The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) governs what products meet the organic guidelines. USDA Organic products are made of 95% certified organic materials (excluding salt and water). If a product says “organic,” but does not have the official USDA Organic label, it is not necessarily a truly organic product.

USDA 100% Organic – Similar to the above, USDA certified organic products need to meet a strict set of guidelines that establish the product is free of synthetic materials. However, only USDA 100% Organic labelled products are completely organic.

Natural – The term natural generally implies that the product does not contain artificial or synthetic materials. However, there are no FDA-approved guidelines for this labelling.  The ambiguous definition means that may products can claim to be “natural” without having true facts to back it up.

Green – Green is an umbrella term for an eco-friendly product. Green products are often from local companies or are made from recyclable resources. Look for an official Green Seal to determine if a product truly meets the “green” standards.

Biodegradable – These products break down back into nature, or eventually disappear completely.

Compostable – Different from biodegradable, compostable products can be composted at home or in a facility that breaks down the ingredients into nutrients that improve the soil.

Fair Trade – Fair trade is not the same as organic. While fair trade may also be organic, the fair trade label means that the product was created in a place where the workers are given better wages. The label has both a social and an environmental meaning.

Another way to make your life a little bit more environmentally friendly is by recycling and reducing your residential trash.  We offer recycling and residential trash services to people in the Monroe and Trumbull, CT areas. If you have any questions about the services that Residential Waste Systems has to offer, you can visit our website or give our office a call at 203-334-1660.

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