Did you do a lot of cleaning around the house this weekend? Good. Neither did I.

But if you did have cleaning on the brain at the very least, here’s big news from eco cleaning product land: the first seven products to be bestowed with the Green Good Housekeeping Seal from the 100 year-old Good Housekeeping Research Institute were announced late last week.

There’s no real shockers on the list: four products from SC Johnson’s Nature’s Source line, one from Clorox Green Works, an AVEENO bath product, and a facial moisturizer from Physicians Formula.

The criteria to achieve a Good Green Housekeeping Seal was developed by GHRI along with green consulting firm Brown & Wilmanns Environmental and appears to be rather stringent:

Before being considered for the GGHS, a product must pass evaluations for the primary Good Housekeeping Seal, which evaluates claims and measures efficacy to ensure it performs as promised, and also represents a limited two-year warranty from Good Housekeeping.  If the product passes, it is then reviewed using more in-depth environmental criteria, including the reduction of water use in manufacturing, energy efficiency in manufacturing and product use, ingredient and product safety, packaging reduction, and the brand’s corporate social responsibility.
One of the main functions of the new seal is to provide an authoritative “thumbs up” to consumers feeling overwhelmed by the various green certifications that have flooded the market over the last few years. Think of the GGHS as trusted, reassuring approval from your grandmother in lieu of approval from a sometimes bewildering, smooth talking friend from out of town.

I’ve tried most of the Nature’s Source products (they came in very handy at my summer share house) and a couple Clorox Green Works items and while they may not be at the front of my own eco-cleaning product arsenal, they are effective, mainstream options.

Here are the GGHS production descriptions of the five approved cleaning products:

Green Works’ Natural Bathroom Cleaner, which removes soap scum, hard water stains, and rust, is made with at least 95 percent natural plant and mineral-based biodegradable cleaning ingredients.  In the Research Institute’s environmental evaluations, the product did particularly well in the following areas: toxicity and product safety; sourcing of product ingredients; sourcing of packaging materials, especially using recycled content in their packaging and packaging recyclability; producing low levels of VOCs.  Green Works and its parent company Clorox are also taking substantial steps to improve the environmental impact of their company as a whole, committing to measure and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, water and energy use and waste. 

Nature’s Source All Purpose Cleaner uses plant-based cleaners to remove grease and dirt from a variety of surfaces including porcelain, fiberglass, chrome, ceramic, and stainless steel.  In the Research Institute’s environmental evaluations, the product did particularly well in the following areas: toxicity and product safety; using energy efficient distribution practices; reducing industrial and hazardous waste from manufacturing; producing low levels of VOCs.

Nature’s Source Glass & Surface Cleaner containsplant-based cleaning agents derived from natural substances such as coconut oil or palm-kernel oil and also corn-based ethanol, a plant-based alcohol that allows surfaces to dry streak-free.  In the Research Institute’s environmental evaluations, the product did particularly well in the following areas: toxicity and product safety; using energy efficient distribution practices; reducing industrial and hazardous waste from manufacturing; packaging of the product.

Nature’s Source Laundry Stain Remover combines simple, biodegradable ingredients into a natural solution and contains no ammonia, bleach, phosphorus or dyes.  In the Research Institute’s environmental evaluations, the product did particularly well in the following areas: toxicity and product safety; using energy efficient distribution practices; reducing industrial and hazardous waste from manufacturing; sourcing of product ingredients.

Nature’s Source Natural Bathroom Cleaner attacks and loosens soil with the power of lactic acid, which is produced from the breakdown of natural sugars in fruits, vegetables and a variety of other sources.  In the Research Institute’s environmental evaluations, the product did particularly well in the following areas: toxicity and product safety; using energy efficient distribution practices; reducing industrial and hazardous waste from manufacturing; producing low levels of VOCs.

Via [Good Housekeeping press release]

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