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Good Housekeeping Adds a Green Seal of Approval

Good Housekeeping magazine, whose seal of approval has been a hallmark of reliability for household goods for 100 years, will soon join the fight against greenwashing with a new label for eco-friendly consumer products.

The Green Good Housekeeping Seal will roll out in the second half of the year after the Good Housekeeping Research Institute and the consultancy firm Brown & Wilmanns Environmental develop the critera to evaluate products and metrics to measure them, according to Rosemary Ellis, the editor in chief of Good Housekeeping.

To be eligible for consideration for the new label, goods must first pass the performance evaluation that the institute conducts to determine whether a product can be stamped with the original seal of approval. After clearing that hurdle, data about a product's composition, manufacturing, packaging and other attributes that may have an impact on the environment would be reviewed.

Although the process is still in beta testing, Good Housekeeping expects to issue the inaugural list of products to receive the new green seal later this year.

The first categories under review will most likely be beauty and cleaning products with the process expanding to encompass a range of consumer goods typically used in the home. Product eligibility parameters for the existing seal of approval can be viewed here.

Goods that receive approval to bear either Good Housekeeping seal are to carry the limited warranty that currently exists: "If the product proves to be defective within two years of purchase, Good Housekeeping will replace the item or refund the consumer." Products must pass periodic reviews by the Good Housekeeping Research Institute to continue to use the labels.

With its new label, Good Housekeeping joins the ranks of respected product testing organizations that have enlisted in the effort to combat greenwashing.

Last November at the annual Greenbuild expo and conference for industries involved in eco-friendly building, Underwriters Laboratories told GreenBiz of UL's plans to begin environmental claims validation and certification programs. The 115-year-old organization launched UL Environment earlier this year with an initial focus on building materials and consumer goods.

More recently, Consumer Reports' Greener Choices established its Eco-Labels Center, an interactive tool that enables users to sort through green product claims and other information found on labels for food, wood, personal care products and household cleaners.

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