What makes a product “clean?”
Clean products aren’t just a fad. Clean products are the way to a better future for our earth and for our health. So, how can you tell the difference between a product that is clean, pretending to be clean, or just plain toxic? Just because a bottle of cleaning spray says “non-toxic” on it doesn’t mean that it is. How about that shampoo that says “organic?” Who can you trust to tell you the truth in a world where labels have no meaning and ingredients are not regulated?
It all begins with the company producing the products. Who are they? What is their mission? What are they doing to protect not only the environment but also your health? It’s our job to do the homework and understand what we are purchasing to use in our homes and on our bodies. No one else is going to read the labels for you, and we can’t trust companies to be upfront about what’s really in their products. Companies can “greenwash” all they want (that’s the term for making a product look really healthy, all the while still containing harmful ingredients) and no one can do anything about it. The personal care industry has very few laws regulating it. That is the main problem right there and I’ll cover more about that in another post!
How can you find an honest to goodness, clean brand? A great source is EWG.org which is a database run by a team of scientists, that allows you to search for a product to see how it ranks on a scale of 1-10 for toxicity. It will breakdown which ingredients contribute to health issues such as cancer, reproductive toxicity, hormone disruption, etc. I’ve found it very helpful! If a company is clean and has submitted it’s products to be tested by the EWG (Environmental Working Group) scientists, it may be given the green seal of approval “EWG Verified.” Some companies even go as far as to get certified as a “B Corp” which means they meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. They are a community that is driving a global movement of people using business as a force for good. I will seek out B Corp brands for laundry detergent, feminine products, cleaning products, skincare, tea, toothpaste, etc.
Clean brands are out there and they may cost a little more than dirty brands, but the cost of your health is well worth it! Once I find a brand that I love, I’m loyal and will advertise them on my social media platforms. Do your homework and make sure a company isn’t just packaging their products to look clean. A true clean product will list all of its ingredients and not have any toxins hiding under terms like “fragrance” because that word guarantees that a lot of chemicals went into making it smell good. (The term “fragrance” is a loophole that allows companies to avoid fully disclosing their ingredient list to protect their formulas.) Unfortunately, it’s really hard to find products that don’t contain this cocktail of scary chemicals. I’ve searched the Target shelves and came up empty. Even their most natural-looking brands still contain fragrance. If you need a good smelling product, go with one that uses only essential oils or natural fragrance to add scent. The bottom line, don’t pay more for household and personal care products that look non-toxic. Find out if they really are all they claim to be. Support companies that go the extra mile to ensure you’re getting a safe product. You vote with your money, so vote for clean!
Here are a few of my favorite clean B Corp. brands!
The B Corp Declaration:
As B Corporations and leaders of this emerging economy, we believe:
- That we must be the change we seek in the world.
- That all business ought to be conducted as if people and place mattered.
- That, through their products, practices, and profits, businesses should aspire to do no harm and benefit all.