Looking for eco-friendly products? These sustainable certifications help you avoid greenwashing.

It is hard to bury one’s head in the sand and not acknowledge the fact that the materialism of humans is ruining the atmosphere; rendering air unbreathable, water undrinkable, and wrecking the ecosystem beyond repair. With the overwhelming effects of climate change knocking on our door, there is a strong demand for eco-friendly products, which companies should try to fulfill.

However, the issue arises when instead of providing consumers with actual eco-friendly products, companies start to purposefully mislead them with promotion and advertising tactics. These marketing strategies use environmental sustainability as a punchline, rather than treating it with the seriousness and sincerity it deserves.

plastic cutlery waste

How can you tell a company is serious towards its commitment to sustainability?

First, you have to stay vigilant. Don’t let a pretty green packaging or sustainable related words fool you. Read the back label, check out the website, and only trust companies that are upfront and tell you why their products are actually eco-friendly. 

Then, familiarise yourself with some of the green certifications that will let you know whether the products provided by a company are actually eco-friendly or not. The process of getting environmental certification is not an easy one. Companies are required to clear rigorous testing of products and the manufacturing process while making sure that the influence on the Earth is at its minimal. Offering certified products can help consumers really understand the type of products and companies their purchases support. 

When we started SellSage we wanted to make sure to be transparent about our production and make it easy for consumers to know exactly what they are purchasing and supporting. In all our products we are committed to being environmentally friendly and sustainable, and this is why we got certified as well.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common sustainable certifications available. 

Certifications to look for while purchasing day-to-day sustainable products

The following are some of the important environmental certifications, issued by unbiased third-party organisations, that you should look for before buying consumer goods or other sustainable alternative daily-use products:

sustainable certifications

Leaping Bunny Program 

Since 1996, the Leaping Bunny Program, is certifying cruelty-free companies that are pledging to end animal testing at all stages of product development. 

For more information, visit: Leaping Bunny: Homepage

Good Housekeeping Green

Introduced in 2009 by Good Housekeeping magazine and the Good Housekeeping Institute (GHI), this label verifies and judges the product’s environmental impact. Among others, what is being looked at is : Reduction of water and energy use in manufacturing and product usage, ingredient and product safety, reduction in packaging, and the brand’s corporate social responsibility.

For more information, visit: Green Good Housekeeping Seal – Environmentally Responsible Products

Green Seal Certified

Green Seal Certification utilizes a life-cycle approach to make sure the products are sustainable starting with the raw material, to the manufacturing process, to the usage, as well as disposal. 

For more information, visit: Green Seal; Homepage 

Animal Welfare

Animal Welfare certification informs consumers about the welfare conditions of farm animals applied in the production of meat, eggs, and dairy products.

For more information, visit: Animal Welfare Institute

 Fair Trade USA Certified

Fair Trade Certified label certifies that the product was produced according to rigorous social, environmental, and economic standards. The people making Fair Trade Certified goods work in safe conditions, protect the environment, build sustainable livelihoods, and earn additional money to empower and uplift their communities.

For more information, visit: Fair Trade Certified | Fair Trade Certified

  USDA – ORGANIC

Organic is a labelling term found on products that have been produced using cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that support the cycling of on-farm resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. 

For more information, visit: Organic | USDA

USDA Certified Biobased Product

USDA Certified Biobased Product label certifies that the product is made with ingredients derived from plants.  

SellSage entire collection of tableware are certified USDA Certified BioBased Product, with 100% made out of renewable raw materials obtained by plants:

Palm Leaf Bowls: 100% Biobased

Palm Leaf Containers: 100% Biobased

Palm Leaf Cutlery (Forks, Spoons, and Knives): 100% Biobased

Palm Leaf rectangular tray (with partition, and without partition): 100% Biobased

Palm Leaf Round tray and plate: 100% Biobased

For more information, visit: Welcome to the BioPreferred ® Program Catalog

Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI)

The Biodegradable Products Institute(BPI) is an unbiased, independent not-for-profit institution in charge of determining whether a product/material is decomposable in a municipal or private setting or not. The testing also establishes whether or not the products will impact the quality of soil by leaving toxic residue behind.

For more information, visit: Biodegradable Products Institute – Certified Compostable

Compost Manufacturing Alliance(CMA)

CMA is an independent body that uses its countrywide network of compost manufacturing facilities to certify field disintegration testing, in the domain of foodservice products.

For more information, visit: Compost Manufacturing Alliance

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®)

The FSC certification encourages and assists efforts towards responsible cultivating, harvesting, and supply of forest products throughout the world. The products that are FSC certified, are legitimately obtained through the proper supply chain from the forests, instead of being smuggled or obtained from other illegal means.

For more information, visit: https://us.fsc.org/en-us/certification

Cruelty free & vegan peta

Cruelty free and vegan label is certified by PETA that both the company and their ingredient suppliers do not conduct any tests on animals. It also ensures this product is vegan and that it does not contain any animal ingredient.

For more information, visit: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

Beauty without bunnies

The Beauty Without Bunnies logo is awarded by PETA for companies taking the pledge in writing not to conduct or commission any animal tests on ingredients, formulations, or finished products.

For more information, visit: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

Certified Vegan Logo

This internationally acknowledged logo is a trademark that a company can get registered for if it does not test its products on animals, and the products do not comprise animal-based products or by-products. The certified vegan logo is currently issued by the Vegan Awareness Foundation, which is a 501(c)3 non-profit body committed to spreading awareness regarding vegan-friendly companies and businesses.

For more information, visit: Vegan Action – We Certify Vegan Products

Certified B Corporation 

Certified B Corporations are for-profit purposeful businesses that are committed to continuously meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability. 

For more information, visit: Certified B Corporation

1% for the planet

Members of 1% For the Planet give 1% of their profit to highly vetted environmental non-profit organizations. 1% for the Planet certifies that each company continuously gives and that the donation has the most positive impact on the environment. 

For more information, visit: 1% for the Planet – Homepage

 

Conclusion

Please note that this list is non-exhaustive and there are other good and trustworthy certifications available. 

It is fair to say that when it comes to testing a company’s commitment to sustainability, it is prudent to not take them at their word, but rather to check the certifications they hold. 

At SellSage, we are proud to be working with these organizations to help us share the word on sustainability and gain trust from our customers.

Please find more information about our USDA Certified Biobased Product certificate here and our testing report here.

You can now shop our sustainable collection of compostable tableware here. Thank you for supporting sustainable companies. 

 

 

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