I recently had the opportunity to be interviewed for a blog radio program called 5 minute Eco, as part of How You Eco. It was an interesting experience to try and focus my usually blathering thoughts down to a concise length. I was asked to explain what a green interior designer was, and still leave room for my top three green tips! I managed to get into the correct time frame. I found the concept intriguing, get smart people to talk about their green field for 5 minutes, kind of a bite sized green interview show. I like the fact that the experts are selected for this program by a team that knows something about green. It makes me nervous how much advertising is being directed towards this market, and so much of it is greenwashing, (claiming a product is green, to gain marketing advantage, without actually making it ecologically friendly. One example would be the claim "all natural ingredients.")
To be honest, it is kind of the wild west out there as far as green claims go. Many companies have decided that in this down economy a green claim is their ticket to the green cash! More than ever, I would suggest that a consumer who is interested in environmentally friendly products find out if the product has a verifiable claim to that title. FSC certification for wood products is one example of a third party certification. This means that the manufacturer did not certify their own product. Other third party certified claims include: LEED certification for green building, Green Guard which certifies whether a product is contributes to good indoor air quality (IAQ), and Green Seal with certifies a variety of products including construction products. Another example of a claim that must be verifiable would be organic or recycled content. If a label says that your paper is 100% recycled, 30% post consumer- that must be true. Be careful that the claims for any product are not vague, and unverifiable, and you can be sure that your green purchase is really making a difference.
Also, please listen to my interview, and see how I am trying to make a difference!