When you’re trying to be a conscious consumer, it’s easy to get lost. Between confusing terms and greenwashing claims that misrepresent a company’s “green” initiatives, it’s all too easy to feel overwhelmed and want to give up. Fortunately, third-party sustainable certifications help to combat greenwashing. Having a general understanding of what they mean makes it easier to shop sustainably.
To help you shop in line with your values, here are the top sustainable certifications to know.
20 Sustainable Certifications to Know
1. Certified B Corporation
Combining social and environmental considerations, a Certified B Corporation is one that demonstrates a commitment to balancing both profit and purpose. To become certified, a company is assessed on things like public transparency, legal accountability, and social and environmental metrics.
When you buy something like a Ceramic Sink Caddy, you’ll be supporting a Certified B Corp: Full Circle Home!
2. Fair Trade
The Fair Trade Certified seal can be found on clothes, food, and beverages. It means that a product was manufactured under sustainable and safe working conditions where workers benefited from sustainable livelihoods and Community Development Funds—where a portion of sales go back into the community to support things like schools, community centers, and access to hygiene and drinking water.
3. 1% For the Planet
As a member of 1% For the Planet, a company donates 1% of their gross annual profits to environmental organizations.
4. Green Business
Green America Green Businesses are a network of the most environmentally and socially responsible businesses in the USA. The organization has certified more than 8,000 businesses that are using their business as a tool for positive change—by using environmentally responsible practices to source, manufacture, and market products, and socially equitable practices to benefit workers and communities.
If you are buying this Safety Razor, you'll be supporitng Green America Certified Company.
5. PETA-Approved Vegan
6. Leaping Bunny
The Leaping Bunny program certifies personal care products, cosmetics, and cleaning products that do not use animal testing at any stage of product development. This means that even the ingredients are never tested on any type of animal (fish, amphibians, birds, reptiles, non-human mammals).
You’ll see the cute bunny logo on cruelty-free products from Earth Harbor, like their Beach Waves Ocean Hair Texturizer.
The OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certification is used on textiles that are free from harmful levels of toxic substances. It tests the final products against a long list of harmful substances (PFCs, nickel, AZO dyes, formaldehyde, etc.).
8. Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)
Also for textiles (including clothing, mattresses, personal hygiene products, and fabrics), GOTS is the world’s leading standard for organic fibers. It assesses products based on strict environmental, social, and toxicological criteria. It limits the use of toxic chemicals during production, meaning safer conditions for our environment and workers.
Keep hair out of your face (sustainably), with the GOTS-certified Organic Scrunchies from Kooshoo!
9. Climate Neutral
Climate Neutral Certified is the standard used by companies that reduce their emissions, offset what they can’t reduce, and have plans in place to cut their carbon footprint even more in the future.
Similarly, Carbonfund.org has a Carbonfree® certification for household items and other products that are carbon neutral as a result of emissions reductions and offsets.
11. Environmental Working Group (EWG) Verified
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) verifies cosmetics, diapers, cleaning products, and personal care products that are free of dangerous chemicals on their “unacceptable” list. This means that products are free of ingredients associated with contamination, ecotoxicity, or health concerns.
When brushing with Davids Toothpaste you can be safe knowing that you're using EWG Verified ingredients for a better and healthier smile!
12. MADE SAFE
From household and personal care products to baby goods and cosmetics, the MADE SAFE seal is used for nontoxic products. Covering a vast range of everyday products, the certification indicates those that are made with ingredients not known or suspected to harm human health.
Each time you start a load with Meliora Laundry Powder, you can breathe a sigh of relief to know that it’s MADE SAFE certified and free of potential dangers.
13. Certified Vegan
Vegan.org is the certifying body behind Certified Vegan products—those that don’t contain animal products or by-products, and also avoid animal testing. More than 10,000 textiles, clothing products, and personal care goods have been certified.
14. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
FSC certification assures consumers that paper, wood products, and wood-based cellulose fibers are sourced from responsibly managed forests and steps are put in place to promote social, environmental, and economic benefits.
You may see FSC 100% (indicating responsible forest sourcing), FSC Recycled, or FSC Mix, indicating recycled paper/wood, or a mix of both.
15. Rainforest Alliance
The Rainforest Alliance Certified seal can be found on personal care, beverage, and food products. It indicates that ingredients or products are produced using methods that support social, economic, and environmental sustainability.
Used in clothing and textile products, Bluesign® certification indicates that the product has been tested for harmful substances. Considering the entire supply chain (manufacturing chemicals, processes, materials, and products), it means that a good has been produced in a way that is safe for the environment, workers, and customers.
17. Global Recycled Standard (GRS)
The Global Recycled Standard (GRS) is an international and voluntary standard that verifies that recycled material is in the product, and that responsible production practices were used.
The recycled plastic bottles that end up in Full Circle Home’s Recycled Microfiber Essential Cloths are GRS certified.
18. Certified Recycled Content
SCS is another body that has a Certified Recycled Content certification, providing third-party verification that products are made with pre-consumer or post-consumer material diverted from the waste stream.
As an example, If You Care’s Recycled Trash Bags are SCS-verified to be made from 89% recycled post-consumer material.
19. Cradle to Cradle
Products that are Cradle to Cradle certified include those that are safe, circular, and responsibly made. This means that not only are they safe for humans and support clean air and climate protection, but also that they fit into a circular economy—meaning that materials can be reutilized or safely enter the environment post-use.
20. OK Compost
TŪV Austria is the certifying body behind the OK Compost logos. Two different ones are commonly in use: OK Compost, which indicates products that are compostable in industrial composting facilities (thanks to high heat and microbial activity); and OK Compost HOME, which is used to indicate products that can be composted by conditions usually present in home composting systems.
Fortunately, when you bake with If You Care’s Parchment Baking Paper, it’s suitable for both industrial and home composting!
Final Thoughts on Sustainable Certifications
It’s never been easier to shop with our values in mind. And because of these third-party certification schemes, we can have peace of mind that natural, non-toxic, and sustainable products are exactly that. At Green Eco Dream, most of the brands we work with bear at least one of these logos!
To help you shop in line with your values, we created a discount code BLOG10 so you can save 10% on your first order with us!
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