green shopping http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3093/all en-US How to Save Green When You Shop Green http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-green-when-you-shop-green <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-save-green-when-you-shop-green" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3339082326_b75d92b3fb.jpg" alt="shop organic" title="shop organic" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What's the top reason shoppers don't buy green? (<i>Hint: It ain't cheap</i>.)</p> <p>That's right. Price.</p> <p>According to a 2009 survey by market research firm <a href="http://www.mintel.com/">Mintel</a>, the top reason consumers don't shop green continues to be cost. Fifty-four percent of survey respondents said they would buy more green products but the products are too expensive. Hopefully, supply and demand will eventually bring down the price of eco-friendly goods. But in the meantime, what's a frugal green shopper to do?</p> <p>Here are a few thrifty tips that can help eco-conscious consumers stretch their dollars.</p> <h2><strong>Finding Green Bargains</strong></h2> <h3><strong>Online Coupons</strong></h3> <p>Unfortunately, coupons for organic foods are not nearly as common as they are for conventional grocery items. However, many of the larger companies producing organic foods, such as <a href="http://www.horizondairy.com/">Horizon Dairy</a> and <a href="http://www.stonyfieldfarms.com/">Stonyfield Farms</a>, do offer coupons you can print from their websites.</p> <h3><strong>Savings Books</strong></h3> <p>If you're lucky, there might just be a local coupon book for green products and services for your metro area. Examples include <a href="http://www.thegreenzebra.org/">Green Zebra</a> (San Francisco, Silicon Valley); <a href="http://www.ecometro.com/">EcoMetro</a> (East Bay, Silicon Valley, Denver, Portland, Seattle, Twin Cities); <a href="http://www.greensavingsindy.com/">Green Savings Indy</a> (Indianapolis), and the <a href="http://gogreenbook.org/inside.html">Go Green Coupon Book</a> (San Diego).</p> <h3><strong>Mobile Coupons</strong></h3> <p>Mobile coupon applications are starting to go green as well, like T-mobile's <a href="http://www.mobilizewitht-mobile.com/mobilize-shop-features.aspx">Green Perks</a>, which delivers discounts on green products and services right to your phone. Just be cautious when using automated applications like these &mdash; sometimes products slip through that are a shade short of green (more on &quot;screening for green&quot; below).</p> <h3><strong>Bulk Discounts</strong></h3> <p>Buying in bulk is one of the easiest ways to save money. Amazon.com, on its <a href="http://www.amazon.com/green">Green</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Natural-Organic-Grocery/b/ref=sa_menu_nto7?ie=UTF8&amp;node=51537011&amp;pf_rd_p=328655101&amp;pf_rd_s=left-nav-1&amp;pf_rd_t=101&amp;pf_rd_i=507846&amp;pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&amp;pf_rd_r=05C6DJ4TK5VDDKT2FYN0">Natural &amp; Organic Grocery</a> pages, offers lots of super-sized green goods &mdash; everything from 10 packs of Seventh Generation paper towels to 24 packs of Clif Kids Organic Fruit Ropes. Plus, shipping over $25 is usually free.</p> <p>In addition, many organic food companies, like <a href="http://www.edenfoods.com/store/index.php?cPath=31">Eden Foods</a> and <a href="http://www.rockymtncuts.com/catalog/index.php">Rocky Mountain Organic Meats</a> offer bulk orders through their websites. If a large quantity order is too much for your household, find a &quot;bulk buddy&quot; and split the order.</p> <h3><strong>Sales and Discounters</strong></h3> <p>Online, you'll find lots of green e-tailers with sales pages and seasonal promotions &mdash; everyone from big names like green-living superstore <a href="http://www.gaiam.com/category/outlet-sale.do">Gaiam</a>, which has a terrific Outlet section, to small mom-and-pop sites. Other online retailers noted for deep discounts also sell eco-friendly products, like <a href="http://www.overstock.com/">Overstock.com</a>, <a href="http://www.drugstore.com/">Drugstore.com</a>, and <a href="http://www.sierratradingpost.com/">Sierra Trading Post</a>. (Just remember, though, that sometimes the dirt in dirt-cheap isn't always good for the earth. Just because a company sells eco-friendly products, doesn't necessarily mean that they operate in an environmentally responsible manner.)</p> <h3><strong>Free Shipping</strong></h3> <p>Free shipping deals from green e-tailers offer a great value for folks who don't live within easy driving distance to stores with eco-friendly products. Just be sure to read the fine print &mdash; restrictions usually apply.</p> <h2><strong>Don't Get Green-Fleeced</strong></h2> <p>&quot;Green&quot; can mean a lot of different things to different people. And that produces some understandable confusion for consumers as to what is truly &quot;Green&quot; and what is instead &quot;Greenwashed.&quot;&nbsp; <a href="http://www.greenwashingindex.com/what.php">Greenwashing</a> is when companies over hype the positive environmental impact of their products or policies. <i>Tsk-tsk</i>.</p> <p>So before you start shopping, make sure you've done your homework. You don't want to fall for misleading claims and get green-fleeced!</p> <p>A smart approach for consumers is to review the criteria for eco-friendly products established by trusted non-profits, such as <a href="http://www.greenamericatoday.org/programs/responsibleshopper">Green America</a>, the <a href="http://www.nrdc.org/greenliving/default.asp">Natural Resources Defense Council</a>, and <a href="http://www.greenerchoices.org/">Consumer Reports</a>. Here's a quick compilation of their suggestions:</p> <ul> <li>Are the products or services friendly to the planet? Do they help save energy on the road and at home; conserve water; support organic and sustainable farming? Are they nontoxic, recycled, cruelty-free and/or fair-trade?</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Are the products certified or does the company have a membership association? Examples include:<br /> &nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>Household Products: Green Seal; Certified Biodegradable<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Cosmetics: Leaping Bunny; Campaign for Safe Cosmetics Signatory<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Food: Organic Certification; Marine Stewardship Council; Certified Humane Raised and Handled<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Wood: Forest Stewardship Council<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Overall Green Business Practices: Green America Approved<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>There are many, many more certification and associations. <a href="http://www.greenerchoices.org/eco-labels/eco-home.cfm">Consumer Reports &quot;Greener Choices&quot;</a> has a terrific eco-label section which can help you sift through the meaning and relative significance of various labels.</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <ul class="unIndentedList"> <li>If the company doesn't have certification/membership affiliations, is there some way for consumers to evaluate their green claim? For example, products that claim to be natural should include a complete ingredient list.</li> </ul> <p>Shoppers looking to go green are of course welcome to use these rules of thumb as a starting point when trying to evaluate the &quot;greenness&quot; of product. But in order to become true green consumers, there is no substitute for first-hand knowledge. Consumers are highly encouraged to become as educated as possible on what is and isn't considered green these days, and how to evaluate green claims. The organizations mentioned above are excellent places to start.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-green-when-you-shop-green" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Save Green When You Shop Green" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is a guest post by Karen Schiff, co-founder of <a href="http://www.ecobunga.com">Ecobunga</a>, a site that lists hundreds of deals and giveaways for eco-friendly products.</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/karen-schiff">Karen Schiff</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Green Living green shopping organic Thu, 24 Sep 2009 13:00:02 +0000 Karen Schiff 3639 at http://www.wisebread.com Cleaning House With Dr. Bronner http://www.wisebread.com/cleaning-house-with-dr-bronner <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cleaning-house-with-dr-bronner" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cleaning-bottles.jpg" alt="cleaning bottles" title="cleaning bottles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A few years ago, I noticed that, not only did I seem to spend a little more cash than I was comfortable with on cleaning products for my house, but I was having a sort of reaction to them: headaches, sudden fatigue and a weird taste in my mouth. At first, I wasn’t sure what it was; but I eventually made the connection between the various chemicals I was using around the house and these symptoms.</p> </p> <p>I started reading about some of the <a href="http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_279.cfm" target="_blank">products</a> and cases of compromised immune systems, skin irritation and respiratory problems in some people. Of course, I knew that furniture polish may smell “lemony” (or, to paraphrase George Carlin, doesn’t contain any actual lemons) but probably doesn’t make good mouthwash, and that bathroom cleaners will release a bunch of talking, mustachioed suds that will leave the room sparkling – but probably shouldn’t be added to my overpriced latté.</p> <p>You get the idea.</p> <p>I had 2 cats and lived near a busy street. I’m no Felix Unger, but I don’t like dust, grit, etc. </p> <p>Cats + street = dust x (grit + dander). </p> <p>So I typically purchased, on a semi-regular basis, disposable dusters, the aforementioned citrus-scented furniture polish, glass cleaner (why is it always blue?), bathroom cleaner, an “all-purpose” cleaner (for… well, I don’t know, actually. It just sounded good to have) and a few other things like air freshener spray and various laundry items. Sometimes I really went crazy and bought something to turn the water in the toilet blue for a month. </p> <p>Wild times, I know.</p> <p>I noticed that it added up to a lot, over time, so I started looking at the alternatives. A Whole Foods opened near me and I started shopping there, out of curiosity. Before anyone jumps on me about how expensive a lot of their stock is, I’ll say this: I know, I know.</p> <p>One day, I picked up a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds. The bottle says that Sal Suds will clean everything in your house – wood floors, laundry, dishes, and cars. Sounded like a good alternative to the stuff I was using; but, really, it caught my eye because –surrounding the list of natural ingredients (each defined for clarity), various uses and pledge that it was not tested on animals – was written an entire philosophy of life. </p> <p>Granted, the bottle seemed a little pricy for just one cleaning product, but I found that it would last me for, literally, months. Just a little bit mixed in water, applied using a spray bottle, will tackle just about any job. And, as promised, it did a great job on both my laundry and my car (even the inside).</p> <p>I also checked out liquid soap for the shower and found that, not only did they smell great, but worked out, in the long run, to save me some dough that I’d have spent on whatever was available at the supermarket.</p> <p>So, the symptoms I’d experienced were gone, I felt better about using products produced by a company that seemed to actually care about both the quality of its soaps as well as the well-being of its customers and, admittedly, reading the words on the bottles is actually very thought-provoking.</p> <p>For both the uninitiated as well as existing fans of Dr. Bronner, hopefully you can catch <a href="http://www.magicsoapbox.com/doc/" target="_blank">the documentary</a> that’s now being screened. Also, check out the <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11813678" target="_blank">NPR interview</a> with the film’s director, Sara Lamm.<br /><a href="http://www.drbronner.com/" target="_blank"><br />http://www.drbronner.com/</a> <br /><a href="http://www.seventhgeneration.com/" target="_blank"><br /></a></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cleaning-house-with-dr-bronner" class="sharethis-link" title="Cleaning House With Dr. Bronner" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ed-oreilly">Ed O&#039;Reilly</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Green Living Health and Beauty Shopping animal safety Dr. Bronner environmentally friendly green shopping natural beauty soap Wed, 18 Jul 2007 08:26:01 +0000 Ed O'Reilly 858 at http://www.wisebread.com