You can take comfort in the fact that there are plenty of eco-friendly choices in laundry products available today. Of course, there are a lot of eco-claims being tossed around too, some of which may not be completely accurate. The trick to separating the green laundry products from the not-so-green is to know what to look for on the product label.
Check for certifications. The terms ‘degradable’ or ‘biodegradable’ are without significant meaning. However, laundry products that are labeled as ‘certified biodegradable’ means that its ingredients have been verified by a third party as being readily biodegradable into harmless components in a reasonable length of time. Nearly everything biodegrades; the question is really when and into what.
- Make sense of scents. It’s always better to go with a ‘free and clear’ product, which indicates that the formula is devoid of artificial fragrances and dyes. If you simply must have a fruity or flowery scent to your bath towels and skivvies, then check the label to be sure that the product is scented by pure botanical essential oils.
- Know when ‘No’ is a good thing. Look for these claims – : contains no optical brighteners, no animal-derived ingredients, no nonionic surfactants (such as NPEs), and no EDTA.
- Follow the arrows. Look for products that display the universal symbol showing three arrows that form a loop, technically known as a Möbius strip. When the three arrows stand alone, it means that the container is recyclable. If the three arrows appear on a solid background, it means that the container was made from recycled materials.
- Check the ingredients. The major difference between the label of a commercial laundry product and an eco-friendly one is, obviously, the ingredients. However, another big difference is the fact that manufacturers of green laundry products never hesitate to fully disclose all of the ingredients, while conventional laundry products almost never do.