How we arrive at our “eco-rating”
The images below represent products that range from “doing their little bit to help” to those that are “cradle to grave” eco-responsible. We know not everything we buy or do can change the world but we do believe that every little bit helps make a difference.
Every little bit counts. Better than most mainstream options.
You’re not a granola girl or guy, but are certainly becoming eco-chic. This product meets some but not all of the criteria in applying our eco-rating.
Contemplating a hybrid? This product is well on the way to meeting eco-friendly criteria in its origin, manufacture and ingredients.
You’ve started regularly reading treehugger.com. This product meets a lot of environmentally-friendly criteria in its origin, manufacture, ingredients and disposal.
David Suzuki loves you. This product is pretty much environmentally friendly from cradle-to-grave.
Our goal at Every Little Bit is to offer everyday products to help you conveniently “green” your home and your life. As environmental issue awareness increases, so does the use of such terms as green, natural and eco-friendly (to name a few), making it increasingly difficult to choose from the abundance of products available. We’ve tried to remove some of the guesswork and research involved in selecting products that are actually not harmful to our environment, our homes and our families.
We also know that people are varying shades of green – with some just wanting to make a few simple changes to help where they can, while others are committed to completely naturalizing their lives. The same can be said of products – some are simply made without harmful ingredients and have little or no impact on the environment when they are used, while others are designed from “cradle-to-grave” to be environmentally sustainable.
We use a number of criteria when reviewing and selecting products, and obviously not all products can be assessed against all criteria (e.g. When comparing shampoo to a water bottle, some of the criteria are obviously different). Feedback from early customers indicated that they would really appreciate a “ball park” idea of what type of eco-rating we could apply to a product, so here’s our rationale.
- How are the products made?
We consider the facilities, the use of energy in production, as well as how the company gives back to the environment. Do the companies make donations to environmental causes and support local communities or do they support fair trade and fair labour practices in the manufacture and production of the product? For example, Ecover (one of our cleaning products suppliers) built the world’s 1st ecological factory in 1992, with a grass (sedum) roof of over 10,8002 feet. Another of our suppliers is Ecolution, a textiles provider employing fair trade practices in the supply of organic cotton from India and hemp from Romania. Freeplay provides our crank and solar-powered flashlights, while supporting aid in India, Asia & Africa, particularly benefitting needy children.
- What materials are in the product?
We assess the ingredients in products like cleaning supplies and personal care items to ensure they are non-toxic, contain the least amount of irritants possible and are safe for your family. We like to see organic ingredients and for the most part, terms we can all recognize. For example, if you look at the ingredients in Nasty Free Naturals, most are organic and understandable. For textiles and hard goods, we try to select ones that are harvested in a sustainable manner, for example – i.e., hemp, bamboo, organic cotton. We try to avoid plastics in general and like to see recycled materials in use, like EcoJot’s 100% post consumer recycled notebooks.
- Where does the product come from?
We consider how far the product has to travel to get to us, and it’s an eco-bonus if they are local. We try to support BC and Canadian manufacturers and suppliers as much as possible to reduce our overall eco-footprint, but we know that not everything can be made locally.
- How is the product used and disposed of?
Is it single purpose or reusable? When we do dispose of a product, is it easily recyclable? How does it affect the environment when in use? For example, are the ingredients in the cleaning supplies biodegradable so that they don’t affect the water table? Can the detergent be used in more energy-saving cold water? Is the packaging recyclable? For products like diapers, we offer a reusable cloth diaper solution from Canadian supplier Bummis, a biodegradable solution from GDiaper, and simply a disposable diaper solution with no chlorine in it from 7th Generation. While Bummis may be get a higher “eco-rating” for its reusability factor, the 7th Generation diapers are still a “greener” option than regular disposable diapers.
Please note that within most of the individual product write-ups, we have provided more specific company and product background used in part to help arrive at our eco-rating. If you need more information, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also note, these eco-ratings are solely the opinions of the founders and should only be used as one source of information.