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What to look for in buying “Green” Cleaning Products:

The process of determining whether or not a product is “truly green” is overwhelming.  There are a myriad of claims being made on a product label or website, a multitude of certifications associated with the products, and even “green product title names” that further confuse and mislead consumers. The overall process has led to a new term:  Greenwashing. Greenwashing is the practice of making an unsubstantiated or misleading claim about the environmental benefits of a product, service, technology or company practice. Greenwashing can make a company appear to be more environmentally friendly than it really is. It can also be used to differentiate a company’s products or services from its competitors by promising more efficient use of power or by being more cost-effective over time. Decision makers researching their buying decisions can consult the National Advertising Division (NAD) of Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB), which administers a system of voluntary self-regulation for the advertising industry. Online, site likes,,, and others provide additional assistance. As blogged by Marketing Green, social bookmarking websites like are allowing consumers to read news articles and rate the actions of the companies involved, based upon the perceived positive or negative environmental impact. Product Titles and Marketing Claims – Be careful when looking at a product title and claims on a product label, product literature or company website. Just because a product name uses “green language” does not mean that it is environmentally friendly and humanly safer. Many of the most prominent consumer and professional products marketed as green are only green in language. Further, many of the claims are generic and overly broad in order to mislead the consumer or buyer. For example, the term “biodegradable” is used on many products and it is meaningless. You are biodegradable, the computer you are using is biodegradable, the room you are in is biodegradable, etc…as long as enough time passes and nature takes over the buildings we inhabit are biodegradable as well in a couple hundred years or if you wait long enough. That is why we only sell “readily biodegradable” products that break down in the environment rapidly. Another good one is the word “safer“. Safer than what? It is the same as when a food product is marketed as “low fat” or “less fat”.  Yeah, lower than total fat and more fat, but that does not mean good for you or “fat free”. Humanly Safer – Just because a product is “green” does not make it necessarily humanly and or animal safer. You can put cyanide in a bottle and it is 100% naturally derived, green, etc… You can then market it as such, however, no one would contest that it is not humanly and animal safer. The same can be said about a myriad of commonly sold toxic ingredients. Without mentioning any specific brand name products, bathroom cleaners often contain strong acids or harmful solvents. Some of the harmful chemical ingredients that should be avoided are heavy metals, chlorinated solvents, mineral acids, or any of the numerous chemicals that do not readily biodegrade or have other adverse environmental impact. Thus, it is important to look deeper when seeking out “truly green” products“. In diving deeper, Certifications are a good place to look. Certifications are extremely helpful in the process of evaluating whether or not a particular product is “truly green”.  That being said, even with Certifications you must be careful. Many companies “self certify” their products with a fancy logo and with fancy language that supposedly substantiates the certification. That is nice to look at, but carries no weight. You must look for “credible third-party” certifications from both governmental and well reputed, not-for-profit private entities. The third-party certification entities have product ingredient screening processes, product testing, and marketing and labeling standards in place to ensure that the products and companies they are associated with are “truly green”. Here are some Credible Third-Party Product Logos to look for related to product ingredients and/or company practices:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Design for the Environment Program (DfE) –

Canada’s EcoLogo Certification –

GreenSeal Certification –

The Carpet and Rug Institute –

The U.S. Green Building Council –

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) –

Environmental Choice Australia –

Kosher Approval –

The above entities substantiate product claims being made with respect to “safer ingredients“, “environmental impact“, “human safety“, “aquatic safety“, and overall “animal safety“. Our product formulations are associated with the entities above when sold to the professional cleaning industry.

Thank You for “Liking” our Products!

treehuggerWe thank, and writer John Laumer, for the article entitled, “Eco Concepts R&D: A Manufacturer of Green Cleaning Products“.  In the article touting the original manufacturer of the Green Concepts branded products, Eco Concepts, Inc., Laumer says, “We liked Eco Concepts on first sight. Their website is well done, and the business approach so sensible sounding, we were an easy sell. Here’s the short list of ordinates they formulate by: ingredients readily biodegradable and all have low aquatic toxicity; every ingredient renewable; market focus on concentrates to reduce packaging and fuel; and all products designed to be safe for human contact. Plus, the formulations have low-to-no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and only contain dyes that are approved by the FDA for human consumption. That’s more meaningful than the typical “organic” or “natural” labels approach if you need to look at all factors in balance…Hats off to EcoConcepts for the effort at risk communication and a circumspect formulation approach.”

Thank you and thank you John Laumer for your commitment to environmental stewardship, and for your support of our products!

John Laumer is an independent consultant for environmental management systems development, training in product stewardship, product introduction management, scenario planning, and risk assessment.  John was senior staff member of a regional planning agency, consultant to an EPA Regional Administrator, field biologist, etc., and studied environmental science and engineering at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Cleaning Green: Less Mess With Less Environmental Stress, By George Leposky

south florida cooperatorWe applaud The South Florida Cooperator Newspaper for educating the public on responsible cleaning practices. In an article entitled, “Cleaning Green: Less Mess With Less Environmental Stress“, by freelance writer George Leposky, the Newspaper addresses multiple issues related to truly effective, cost effective, safer and environmentally preferable cleaning practices.  Notably, Leposky quotes the original manufacturer of the Green Concepts branded product line, Eco Concepts, Inc.’s President, Gil Oren, several times in the article.

The South Florida Cooperator Newspaper is a publication that serves the South Florida Condo, HOA and Co-op community with informative free articles on management, finance, maintenance and more…

Why do our products have “Superior Performance”?

our_faq_pageThe cleaning products we sell are the result of a Safer and Superior New Product Standard that has led to more than 160 “green” certified products by major governmental and non-profit organizations worldwide. The Standard is as follows: Safer for the Environment / Safer for Human Contact / Superior Performance / Superior Savings. Each and every product we sell must meet the Safer and Superior New Product Standard, which well exceeds governmental and institutional laws and regulations pertaining to “greener” and “safer” cleaning products. The Standard is meant to ensure that customers do not need to lose in performance and cost when switching to safer and more environmentally friendly cleaning products. We will address the third of the four parts of the Safer and Superior New Product Standard in this post.

Superior Performance – You want safety, but you must have top performance.  Originally, this was a major complaint about green products. More recently, there are green products on the market that perform very well. The perception still exists that green products don’t work as well and they cost more to use. Unfortunately, there are enough poorly performing, green products out there that the perception still gets regular reinforcement. The reality is that there are also plenty of brown products that don’t work well and there are green products that work as well or better than the best brown products. We only provide products that adhere to very high standards of performance and that have undergone extensive laboratory and field testing to meet an internal Safer and Superior New Product Standard in order to ensure that our products perform as well as or better than the more toxic traditional products. Professional Cleaning Performance – Our products are tested for cleaning performance against the best in the Professional Cleaning Industry, regardless of whether or not the competitive product is “green” or “brown” (toxic), and our product must meet or exceed the competitive product’s performance. Our product formulations are used by professionals to clean hotels, hospitals, schools, universities, stadiums, arenas, shopping centers, malls, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, warehouses, etc. in North/Central/South America and the Virgin Islands, Europe, Australia, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Controlled Cleaning – We do not take the corrosive, sledgehammer approach to cleaning that our competitors prefer. We clean the soil without damaging your valuable properties. The formulations are designed for Controlled Cleaning.  They specifically target and remove stains and soils. They are formulated to “emulsify” with the soils for easy and user-friendly removal.  Emulsion is a mixture of two or more liquids that are normally immiscible (un-blendable).  This mixing of cleaning solution and soil happens above the surfaces and materials being cleaned and, thus, allows for extremely effective cleaning performance without harming the valuable areas being cleaned. Concentrated Cleaning – Our products are in concentrate form and may be tailored to specific strengths in order to ensure good performance. The Concentrated Cleaning approach allows the user to dilute the concentrate with water as opposed to being tied to whatever solution they purchase from a competitive product. A competitive product may be too strong and result in a waste of product by using more than what is necessary, or may even harm or damage a sensitive surface or material. Conversely, a competitive product may be too weak and a complete waste of resources and time in being ineffective and not able to remove the stain or soil.  With concentrated products the user is not locked into one strength and may alter the concentration on an ongoing basis to address whatever cleaning task is desired from light to heavy cleaning. Versatile Formulations – Our products are specifically formulated to lessen the overall impact of having multiple products to clean many stains and soils or for cleaning many different surfaces and materials. Each product contains a unique versatile formulation that allows the user to achieve a tremendous amount of performance effectiveness across a wide range of cleaning jobs with only one product. This saves the user in overall resources and in space in the closet or under the counter.

Our products are “Superior in Performance“, because they are formulated for Professional Cleaning Performance, Controlled CleaningConcentrated Cleaning, with Versatile Formulations. The user can optimize the strength of the diluted product for each and every cleaning task within a wide range of surfaces and materials that can be cleaned.