American consumers are increasingly looking to minimize their environmental footprints, and they're buying more green products as a result.
As the Seattle Times notes, it should be as easy as looking at product labels to determine which ones are the most environmentally friendly. However, the sheer number of organizations offering their own green stickers makes the matter much more complicated. What one regulator considers eco-friendly may not be deemed so by another.
Most eco-labeling programs are done on a voluntary basis, which makes it difficult to establish universal standards.
"A comprehensive program like that would be extremely expensive and complicated to operate. The most successful eco-labeling programs focus on specific product categories such as appliances or wood products, or primarily serve selected purchasers such as businesses and institutions," the news source explains.
While eco-friendly labels were previously a niche designation, a number of sectors now have their own standards. For example, there are stickers for organically produced rugs and carpeting, building supplies and timber, televisions and food.