Green Products: What Works and What Doesn't



For the eco-conscious consumer, there is an increasingly wide array of
products to choose from, from soap to shower heads. But does a "green" label on
a product automatically mean it's the best environmental choice? Not necessarily
because not all green products are created equal. Consider the following advice
from Consumer Reports:


Do "green" dishwasher detergents really work? In Consumer
Reports latest tests, dishwasher detergents without phosphates tended to perform
worst overall. According to Consumer Reports, only two of seven phosphate-free
detergents are worth considering: Method or Simplicity.


Eco-flooring. Some of the flooring brands recently tested by
Consumer Reports carry eco-labels. Wood flooring certified by the Forest
Stewardship Council and Sustainable Forestry Initiative offers some assurance
that it's from sustainably managed forests. But other flooring might have green
attributes without those credentials.


According to Consumer Reports, vinyl flooring certified by the industry
FloorScore program meets California standards, the nation's toughest, for
volatile organic compounds, which are linked to health problems and


Low-flow showerheads and toilets. Eight of the 18 models in
a Consumer Reports report on showerheads use less than the federal maximum flow
rate of 2.5 gallons per minute; all meet the federal limit. Consumer Reports
toilet tests revealed that not all could flush with success in every situation,
but they did find a 1.28-gallons per flush (gpf) "standout" from Kohler and a
good 1.1-gpf model from Gerber.