These days, companies throw around “green” labels like it’s confetti, but they don’t always take the time to explain how they’re environmentally sustainable. Just because you say you’re green, doesn’t mean much unless you can back it up. So, how are we, as consumers, supposed to know when companies and products really are what they say they are?
Non-profit, Green Seal, has put retailers and products to the test. They have created a series of rigorous tests to weed out the phonies from the environmentally responsible. If the products pass their set rigorous evaluations, demonstrating a reduced impact on the environment, as well as equal or better performance than their peer products, they receive a Green Seal Certification Mark of approval, rated up to three levels (entry, advanced, and top). This means the product in question has passed the scientific evaluations on their entire life-cycle, beginning with its raw materials through the manufacturing process (including on-site plant inspections), and ending with either disposal or recycling.
Green Seal does the work for us, ensuring the products and services we use abide by environmental standards. They cover an array of products and services, including household cleaners, papers, paints, windows and doors, and even lodging across the nation. Visit their website for more information on products that have received their mark of approval and a list of locations where you can find the Green Seal.
Parents always want what’s best for their kids, especially when it comes to their health.
LA-based Y Water is dedicated to providing a healthy beverage alternative, the first in a new category of “developmental drinks.” Developmental drinks contain vitamins and minerals essential to a child’s healthy growth. As an alternative to the glut of high calorie, high sugar drinks on the market the folks at Y Water have launched a certified organic, vitamin-fortified, low calorie line of kids’ drinks that contain only 40-45 calories per 9-ounce serving.
There are 4 flavors in the rollout: Muscle, Immune, Bone and Brain Water. Each flavor contains different vitamins to provide nutrition and stimulate good health in our growing tykes. So, how did they taste? Our informal panel of judges agreed that all blends taste best when served shaken and cold (just as Y Water advises). Personally, I thought they were all good, and I liked the Brain Water flavor the most. One adult judge described the Bone Water as having a slightly medicinal taste, but not in a bad way. More importantly, what did the kids think? Those who don’t usually drink soda were saying “more, please.” And the children who drink soda occasionally said they thought the drinks were “good” and “okay.” As a healthy, alternative kids’ drink, we’ll definitely pick up more at the market.
If you’re concerned about the containers, they’re 100% recyclable or reusable as a “developmental aid.” The reuse of the bottle is based on their Why Not? philosophy. They bottles are shaped and intended to inspire creativity in children. Shaped as Y knot toys, they serve more than one purpose. All of the packaging materials are 100% recyclable, and Y Water will even pay the cost of returning your old Y bottles so that they can turn them into new Y bottles. Part of their Y to Y practice — drink, play, recycle. Our kids weren’t that inclined to play with the containers, probably because we had only 4 bottles, so they were recycled.
more info @ ywater.us or pick up @ Whole Foods and other markets.
(just an aside, I like the graphics on their site)