a grid filled with Energy Star certified products
Photo: Jorge Colombo

Myth: There's no reliable way to know if a product is as green as it claims.

Reality: Yes, there's plenty of so-called greenwashing out there. But aside from the SCS and FSC certifications, there are other third-party groups whose logos indicate products are as green as they say they are. The most widely known is the EPA's Energy Star logo, a legit measure of a product's energy-saving qualities. You can also look for ­logos from GreenSeal, which scrutinizes products' green cred, including the amount of recycled content used. Just recently, the century-old Underwriters Laboratories, a reputable third-party agency that does product safety testing, launched the UL Environment logo, an indicator that a product's environmental claims have indeed been validated.

Thanks to Andrew Padian, The Community Preservation Corp.
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