Green is the new black, or so they say. Nowadays, caring about the environment is no longer synonymous with being a hippie or so-called tree-hugger, but a good citizen. Although hugging a tree now and then can’t be a bad thing. Whether you’re new to the green scene or an old pro, the first step in finding eco-friendly products is knowing where to shop. While green products can be found just about anywhere these days, several companies lead the way in providing eco-friendly options.
5 Johnson & Johnson
This last one may surprise you. If you’re someone who cares about your personal appearance and hygiene–and I sincerely hope you are–you’ll be especially interested in the last company on our list. To commemorate its 125th anniversary, Johnson & Johnson publicly announced its plans to adopt a sustainable and more environmentally friendly business model. Since then, the company has begun removing carcinogens and other toxic chemicals from its baby and adult personal care lines. By 2015, Johnson & Johnson will also have reduced its total carbon emissions, water use and waste disposal and created 60 new sustainable products. I don’t know about you, but these eco-friendly improvements are enough to make me commit to Johnson & Johnson once and for all. No more cheating with other brands.
4 Green Depot
Got a house to build? Or remodeling the one you already live in? If so, you have the option of using eco-friendly building materials. Founded in 2005, Green Depot is the leading manufacturer of environmentally friendly building products and home improvement services, ranging from roofing and flooring to cleaning supplies and lighting fixtures. In other words, whatever you can find at Home Depot, Green Depot has its eco-friendly equivalent. Not only does Green Depot have a wide selection of products, its goods must also pass the company’s proprietary filter system, which evaluates the products’ natural resource and energy conservation, health, performance, durability and life cycle. By taking out all the guesswork, Green Depot makes improving your home easy and fun.
What is Nau? Two words: sustainable fashion. Nau specializes in manufacturing men’s and women’s clothing, all of which are made from natural, renewable fibers, such as organic cotton, merino wool, goose down and recycled polyester. Not only will you be helping the environment when you wear Nau clothes, you’ll also look good while doing it. That’s because the company’s style offerings are a cross between Urban Outfitters and Eddie Bauer. But, the “feel goods” don’t stop there. Not only does this company ship its products using up to 50 percent recyclable material, it also donates 2 percent of every sale to humanitarian and environmental groups. Just like the other companies on our list, Nau proves buying eco-friendly has many perks.
When it comes to being eco-friendly in your day-to-day living, Gaiam is a great fit. Founded in 1988, this Colorado-based company specializes in certified organic and natural fiber bedding and clothing, fitness products, household goods and renewable energy solutions. Gaiam makes living an eco-friendly lifestyle easy, convenient and affordable. Not to mention stylish. You won’t find any bland furnishings or products here. In fact, many of Gaiam’s offerings would rival even the most pretentious and overpriced brands. Don’t live in Colorado? No biggie. You can order direct from the company’s website. Gaiam even has an eco-friendly shipping program in which it offsets its shipment emissions with donations to tree-planting projects. Hard not to feel good about that.
1 Whole Foods
Being eco-friendly is not only about the products you use, but also those you eat. Yes, I’m talking about food. While touting itself as America’s Healthiest Grocery Store may be a bit obnoxious, Whole Foods is one food market that can back up its claims. Since opening its first store in 1980, Whole Foods has provided a wide selection of organic and natural foods. Not only does this grocery chain support local growers, it is also committed to sustainable agriculture. In order to get on Whole Foods shelves, food and product suppliers must employ farming and production techniques that protect the environment, public health and animal welfare. Sounds like perfection, right? Almost. If we could just do something about Whole Foods’ prices. There’s no point in eating healthy if we’re going to die from sticker shock as soon as we walk through those sliding glass doors.