As frequent users of many products claiming to be eco-friendly, Haskell New York Inc., recently decided to put these products to the test. Although there is no shortage of manufacturers claiming to be “green”, when scrutinized, some products fell short of expectations while others surprised the reviewers.
Products were judged based on the following criteria :
- How well they work?
- How eco-friendly they are?
- How upfront the manufacturer is?
- Whether the product is tested on animals?
With few regulations stopping companies from making claims, virtually anybody can call themselves “green”. Unfortunately, at the time of this review, it is still not illegal for a company finding it hard to become certified as “green” to make up their own standard. In the case of SC Johnson, the makers of Windex, Pledge, OFF, Raid, Ziploc, Scrubbing Bubbles, Glade and other popular products, the Greenlist is a company patent that not being invented/regulated by an independent organization, carries less weight, objectively speaking.
In all fairness to SC Johnson, this company voluntarily changed some of their formulas to make them “green” before the term “green” was even a household word. However, though the company seems truly concerned about the environment, printing product information on the inside label of a Windex bottle doesn’t cut it. The company’s response to this is to awkwardly refer consumers over to their website. With the Windex product page showing little additional information (at the time of the review) and no indication that the product was not tested on animals, this product, despite working well, scored lower than other glass and multi-surface cleaners on both animal testing and how upfront the manufacturer is.
Overall, Naturals Glass & Surface Care (made by Simple Green) reviewed best in terms of eco-friendliness, how well it works, its low odor and how upfront the company is (including its policy on animal testing – which they don’t perform). Green Works also worked well, but is a little more soapy and the product has a slightly noticeable odor.
Important: Although Naturals Glass & Surface Care (by Simple Green) works well on glass, Simple Green Original will leave a filmy residue if applied on a glass surface.
In the category of Biodegradable Dog Clean-up Bags, these bags (made by BioBag USA) are great in theory but are a little pricey. The bags, sold by PETCO, were unfortunately not easy to open. Assuming this was just a bad batch; the product has potential for those who can afford them. Another similar product offered by their competitor, PetSmart reviewed well by PertSmart’s customers on their product review page though Haskell did not actually test these personally.
Biodegradable Peanuts, made by ShurTech Brands LLC, a product Haskell does offer on its main site, OfficeSalesUSA.com, turned out to be surprisingly good. Although sales on this have not exactly been stellar, it was nice to see for a change a product that truly lived up to its claims. When submerged in water, these biodegradable packing peanuts dissolved quickly (within minutes down to a fraction of their original size). Although not recommended for packaging anything that contains a high degree of moisture, overall the product held up even if the shipping box became a little wet.
Also evaluated were Compostable Office Party Packs by Miller’s Creek. These were not bad but Haskell’s customers favored Baumgartens’s products (Corn Starch Utensils, Sugar Cane Plates, Cups and Bowls) higher in terms of overall quality on the basis of their repeat purchases. When tested, some of the Miller’s Creek Compostable Party Pack utensils were discolored and one knife broke from casual usage. Moreover, though being listed as Compostable Office Party Packs, the included bags do not appear to be biodegradable as well.
Although Haskell does not claim to have made a truly scientific evaluation, they hope this review will help consumers at least make more intelligent purchasing decisions regardless of where they shop.
SC Johnson, Greenlist, Green Works, Simple Green, PETCO, PetSmart, ShurTech Brands LLC, Miller’s Creek, Baumgarten and other companies, services or products mentioned here are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective organizations.
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