- Why this website?
- Make a Difference
- What makes a product "greener"?
- Environmental Claims
- Feedback on this Website
Why this website?
The EPA Greener Products Portal is designed to help the user navigate the increasingly important and complex world of greener products. It allows users to search for EPA programs related to greener products based on the type of user and their specific product interests. It also links to additional greener products information from EPA and other sources.
Make a Difference
By looking for greener products when you shop and using products in ways that respect the environment, you will be joining millions of Americans in helping protect public health and the environment. Using products in ways that respect the environment includes conserving energy, water, and materials as well as disposing of the products responsibly through recycling and reuse.
Products can have a wide variety of public health and environmental impacts including toxic exposures, air pollution, water pollution, climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion, natural resource use (e.g., energy, water, materials), waste disposal, and ecosystem damages. These impacts can occur at just one or at many places throughout the product's life cycle: e.g., extracting raw materials, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, retailing, and product use, repair or maintenance, and disposal.
What makes a product "greener"?
The answer to what makes a product "green" can be complicated.
Generally, a product may be considered "greener" if scientific evidence demonstrates that human health or environmental impacts have been significantly reduced in comparison with other products that serve the same purpose.
But it is important to consider the product's life cycle — from product raw material extraction to manufacture and through use and disposal — and its potential for adverse impacts, such as toxic exposures, air pollution, water pollution, climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion, natural resource use (e.g., energy, water, materials), waste disposal, and ecosystem damages.
For example, office carpeting that has been "greened" may use safer raw materials in the manufacturing stage and have a modular design that allows for easy disassembly and recycling once the usefulness is complete.
Different product categories have different human health or environmental "hotspots" of concern. For example formulated products, such as chemicals used in cleaning products, have high potential for direct human and environmental exposures, so toxicity would be a "hotspot" of concern.
EPA works with manufacturers, environmental organizations, consumer groups and our federal and state partners to support the development of standards and criteria for greener products using EPA's scientific expertise.
The table below contains common environmental impact categories used in the life-cycle assessment of products.
|Impact Category||Scale||Examples of Data|
|Global Warming/Climate change||Global||Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
Methyl Bromide (CH3Br)
|Stratospheric Ozone Depletion||Global||Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
Methyl Bromide (CH3Br)
|Sulfur Oxides (SOx)
Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)
Hydrochloric Acid (HCL)
Hydroflouric Acid (HF)
|Eutrophication – The process by which a body of water or ecosystem acquires a high concentration of organic matter with potentially damaging consequences||Local||Phosphate (PO4)
Nitrogen Oxide (NO)
Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
|Photochemical Smog||Local||Non-methane hydrocarbon (NMHC)|
|Terrestrial Toxicity||Local||Toxic chemicals with a reported lethal concentration to rodents|
Additional information also available
|Local||Toxic chemicals with a reported lethal concentration to fish|
|Total releases to air, water, and soil|
|Quantity of minerals used
Quantity of fossil fuels used
|Quantity disposed of in a landfill or other land modifications|
|Water used or consumed|
Despite a variety of initiatives intended to prevent misleading claims and increase reliable claims, there is evidence that many claims in the marketplace can be misleading . The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has primary jurisdiction over the regulation of environmental claims, and this website provides resources to help you be an informed consumer. If you represent a manufacturer or institutional purchaser, you will find resources to help you make credible environmental claims and important investments in "greener" products as a manufacturer or as a product buyer.
Feedback on this Website
EPA committed to develop this website as part of the EPA's Open Government Plan. As this is an early version of the website, we are especially interested in your ideas and feedback for future revisions. Please provide your suggestions for feedback here.