My husband and I have this strange past time where we roam Wholefoods just to see what new products they have. This usually happens after dinner and it becomes our after dinner walk. During this time, we go to Wholefoods an hour before it closes where it is less busy and we check out the products they have for sale. Not just items that we need or use, but all of them. We check ingredients, review how products are getting marketed, and take a look at labels. During this journey, I have been more and more conscious about what goes into the products that I buy. Part of the low waste and zero waste commitment is to reduce consumption, but this is a long road for me so I still find myself buying items, however, when I buy I am more conscious of what it took to make those products.
If we reduce the consumption of packaged goods, we wouldn't come across these labels, but sadly that is currently not today's reality. A lot of things ARE packaged, but as we become more conscious consumers, we should be educated enough to differentiate a product and a company that is worth supporting.
I've compiled some of the logos I come across most often that certifies products for certain sets of standards. Let me know where you find these and how often. A lot of these logos may also used as a marketing ploy so just be aware of that. Majority of these organizations are independent third parties that do charge other companies for certification and logo use. As I live in the US, many of these certifications and standards are for products that are sold in the US, however, I am sure there are plenty of other organizations across other parts of the world that have their own standards and labels. Under each organization and logo, I have added a brief description from their respective websites.
"The Fair for Life Social & Fair Trade Certification Programme offers operators of socially responsible projects a solution for brand neutral third party inspection and certification in initial production, manufacturing and trading. It combines strict social and fair trade standards with adaptability to local conditions. The system is designed for both food and non-food commodities (like cosmetics, textiles or tourist services)."
"The Fair Trade Certified™ label ensures consumers that the farmers and workers behind the product got a better deal. It is more than a certification stamp and more than a seal of approval. It reassures consumers that their purchases are socially and environmentally responsible. It is the end result of a rigorous global inspection and monitoring system."
"Dedicated to providing certification services to producers of gluten-free products using quality assessment and control measures throughout production, in order to provide assurance to consumers of the safety of their foods."
"Healthier alternatives exist for almost every toxic product at the store. Our Shop Healthy program aims to educate the public about those products that meet our Quality Standards for children’s health."
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"Issued to companies whose products comply with the Humane Cosmetic and Human Household Products Standard criteria." Strives to end animal testing.
"Committed to preserving and building sources of non-GMO products, educating consumers, and providing verified non-GMO choices."
"Oregon Tilth provides certification services of the highest quality that reflect and respect your dedication to organics."
"For products that do not contain animal products or byproducts and that have not been tested on animals"
"Managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the goal of the BioPreferred program is to increase the purchase and use of biobased products...The increased development, purchase, and use of biobased products reduces our nation's reliance on petroleum, increases the use of renewable agricultural resources, and contributes to reducing adverse environmental and health impacts. Biobased products are derived from plants and other renewable agricultural, marine, and forestry materials and provide an alternative to conventional petroleum derived products. Biobased products include diverse categories such as lubricants, cleaning products, inks, fertilizers, and bioplastics. For purposes of the BioPreferred program, biobased products do not include food, animal feed, or fuel."
"Organic agriculture produces products using methods that preserve the environment and avoid most synthetic materials, such as pesticides and antibiotics. USDA organic standards describe how farmers grow crops and raise livestock and which materials they may use."
"Products with the Safer Choice label help consumers and commercial buyers identify and select products with safer chemical ingredients, without sacrificing quality or performance."