The majority of Americans want their purchases to have the least possible environmental impact, as seen in the UL “Under the Lens: Claiming Green” study. In the report, 70 percent of respondents claimed to be consciously searching for greener products, and 83 percent said they had consciously purchased sustainable products in at least one category. To consistently put these ideals into action, take these four steps:

1. Before making a purchase, apply the zero waste principals of:

  • Refuse what you do not need.
  • Reduce what you do need.
  • Reuse (or repair) what you consume.
  • Recycle what you cannot refuse, reduce, or reuse.
  • Rot (compost) whatever you can.

Reducing consumption is key because making a product is resource-intensive, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Household consumption adds up, contributing to more than 60 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and between 50-80 percent of total land, material and water use, according to the Environmental Impact Assessment of Household Consumption study.

Diana Ivanova, author of the household consumption study, says, “I have no desire to say, ‘You should be doing the impossible to reduce your consumption…but I do wish to say ‘I hope that you do your best… because it matters!’”

2. Think energy efficiency. When you purchase appliances, light bulbs or electronics, choose the most energy efficient models as designated with the ENERGY STAR® label.

3. Think water efficiency. When choosing showerheads, faucets, toilets, sprinklers and other products that use water, look for the EPA WaterSense label.

4. Rely on independent verification like the UL ECOLOGO® Certification. ECOLOGO Certifications are lifecycle-based environmental certifications that indicate a product has undergone rigorous scientific testing, exhaustive auditing, or both, to prove compliance with stringent, third-party, environmental performance standards for:

  • Materials
  • Energy
  • Manufacturing and operations
  • Health and environment
  • Product performance and use
  • Product stewardship and innovation

Go to SPOT®, UL’s sustainable product search tool, to find more than 50,000 credible green products that have undergone independent verification.

Make a difference starting today by applying these tips. As Ivanova points out, “it matters!”