Are the products you’re using to wipe your kitchen counter and scrub the tub eco-friendly? The U.S. government would like them to be. In 2011, it instituted the Biopreferred seal, the USDA organic label for things you can’t eat.
The seal, “USDA Certified Biobased Product,” tells you the percentage of the product that has bio-based content. If a cleaning product has a bio-based content of 57 percent, for example, that means that 57 percent of the organic carbon molecules in the product are derived from renewable resources such as plants and that the remaining 43 percent come from non-renewable resources, such as fossil fuel.
In short, the higher the percent on the bio-based seal, the better the product is for the environment in terms of sustainability. Moreover, the seal usurps the word “natural,” which has no standard definition.
To participate in the voluntary labeling program, manufacturers like Seventh Generation, which was the first consumer product company in the home and personal care category to start using the seal, submit a sample of their product to the USDA for bio-based testing. To gain certification, a product must meet the minimum bio-based content required for its specified product category or be at least 25 percent bio-based.
I love the idea of bio-based household products, but the big question is, do they get the job done? To show how much Seventh Generation believes in their products—and to lure back consumers who may have tried them years ago, but weren’t impressed, as well as to incentivize skeptics who just don’t think “green” works—the company is offering a 7-day money-back guarantee starting in August 2012.
The offer applies to all Seventh Generation products, many of which have been reformulated over the years for added effectiveness. The gist? Try any of Seventh Generation’s products—even those without the biobased seal—for seven days. If you don’t love it, it’s free.
To get your money back (if necessary), you must send Seventh Generation the UPC code and your original receipt, which must be dated at least 7 days after purchase, but within 60 days of purchase. The deal will be displayed on product label tags. For more info on the USDA biobased seal, visit www.biopreferred.gov. For more about Seventh Generation, visit www.seventhgeneration.com.