After all, Hilton Head Island is. Teresa Wade of Experience Green (http://experiencegreen.org/) explains, “Hilton Head Island is a bucket list place to live and more and more I’m seeing the light bulb go off about green living.” Wade is referring to the Island’s increased efforts to recycle and community leaders stepping up to the green plate.
Yet, Wade warns consumers to be aware of “greenwashing”—a term defined as “the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.” Examples of greenwashing include using misleading terms like “all-natural” and marketing that gives the illusion of being green.
So, what’s a clean freak to do? Not to worry. You can have your spring clean and be green, too. Just take a few tips from Wade.
Wade’s Tips to Good Spring Cleaning:
- Read the labels. Wade says, “If you can’t pronounce it, more than likely it’s bad for you.”
- Know the definitions. All-natural is vague. What is the recycle ability, acute human toxicity and carcinogenicity of the product?
- Exercise consumer power. “Buy green products,” advises Wade. “Grocery stores will supply what is demanded.”
- Reduce. One way to do this is to buy low-VOC paint for a lower carbon imprint.
- Reuse. Re-purposing is a great way to be green. For example, that old t-shirt could become a great rag for polishing silver.
- Recycle. When reorganizing your closet or garage, remember to donate old items or have a garage sale. “There are so many great vintage and thrift stores in Hilton Head and Bluffton!” says Wade.
- Refuse. Wade adds this consideration to the 3Rs. “Less is more,” she reminds us. “Don’t buy things you don’t really need.”
Though Wade admits she “did not grow up green,” she realized the economic benefits of corporate sustainability while pursing her MBA. Now she educates both businesses and individuals about green practices with Network Green and Live Green workshops.
Wade explains, “Network Green provides a platform for businesses and consumers seeking green resources to connect with each other and collaborate for sustainable solutions. Live Green workshops teach green practices to improve one’s quality of life, while saving money and protecting resources.”
Wade says her favorite products and websites are:
- Seventh Generation. http://www.seventhgeneration.com/
- EcoLogo. http://www.ecologo.org/en/
- GreenSeal. http://www.greenseal.org/
- Consumers’ Union-Products for a Better Planet. http://www.greenerchoices.org/eco-labels/
- The Environmental Working Group’s “Skin Deep” Program. http://www.cosmeticsdatabase_calls.php and http://www.ewg.org/2010sunscreen
Be well, Becca