You’ve probably gone to the store to buy a green cleaner and your eyes gloss over. Mine sure have. You try to find the label, identify the ingredients, decipher those ingredients and use your judgement on whether or not they’re toxic or not. There’s good news! Whole Foods Market, one of the leading natural food chains, announced the launch of its Eco-Scale program just before Earth Day.
Whole Foods is the first retailer to provide an eco-based safety rating system for household cleansing products. The Eco-Scale system will attempt to clear up some of the confusion when it comes to household cleaning products. Under the new evaluation system, cleaning products sold at Whole Foods will be color coded: red, orange, yellow or green:
All orange-rated products must be third-party verified to meet the following criteria:
- No ingredients with significant environmental or safety concerns, such as phosphates, chlorine, or preservatives that have the potential to release formaldehyde.
- No artificial colors
- No animal testing
In addition to the criteria above, yellow-rated products must also meet the following requirements:
- No ingredients with moderate environmental or safety concerns, such as DEA, TEA or MEA surfactants (surface acting agents that can act as foaming agents) that have the potential to contain nitrosamines and other impurities
- No synthetic thickeners made from non-renewable petroleum-derived sources
- 100 percent natural fragrances
Green-rated products represent the highest level of Whole Foods Market’s new standards and meet all the requirements of the orange and yellow products, but also contain:
- only 100 percent natural ingredients and
- contain no petroleum-derived ingredients at all.
All products that do not at least meet the orange tier will be removed from the shelf by Earth Day 2012. Red-rated products will be reformulated or phased out of Whole Foods Market.
What do you think about Whole Foods new Eco-Scale rating system?