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Friday, May 3, 2013

Savvy shoppers use labels

Ramona Madhosingh-Hector
Urban Sustainability Agent

Savvy shoppers always know how to get the best deals! They’re armed with knowledge, coupons (if available) and patience. If you’re an eco-conscious consumer, then you’re probably already familiar with these labels, if not, it’s time that you become familiar.

EnergyGuide – This label provides information on capacity, estimated operating costs, estimated annual consumption and energy efficiency rating. The label is based on standard tests conducted by manufacturers that compare annual energy use of different models. It also shows the average costs of operating and owning the appliance over the course of a year. By law, manufacturers are required to put labels on the inside or outside of the appliances and if you don’t see the yellow label, ask a salesperson for it.

Energy Star – This blue and white logo is placed on appliances that meet the strict standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency or the Department of Energy. It indicates those appliances that use less energy, save the consumers money, and protect the environment.

GREENGUARD – This label helps buyers identify products and materials that have low chemical emissions and can improve the quality of air in which the products are used. This label is used on building materials, finishes, interior furnishings and cleaning products.

GREEN SEAL – From paper towels to food packaging, household products to construction materials, Green Seal certification considers the total environmental impact of the product. The Green Seal certification process looks at the manufacture, purchase, and use of environmentally responsible products and services.

The Lighting Facts label on light bulb packages gives you information that you need to compare different bulbs. The label helps you determine brightness (lumens), annual energy costs, light appearance (warm or cool), wattage (energy used) and expected bulb life.

Labels are valuable shopping tools when you’re looking to upgrade an appliance, replace a light or light fixture, or choose a cleaning product. Knowledge is power so shop confidently–look for labels, read labels, and use them to help you make a better purchase.



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