Eco-novice's Top 10 Resources

Here are 10 resources I regularly use in my research regarding healthier products and greener living.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The EPA's mission is "to protect human health and to safeguard the natural environment -- air, water and land -- upon which life depends."  The site has information on a range of topics, including human health and energy conservation.

Household Products Database
Published by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, this website has health and safety information (including ingredients) for all kinds of household products: cleaners, yard care, personal care, arts and crafts, car maintenance, home office, and more.  You can also look up individual ingredients.

Environmental Working Group
EWG uses public information to protect public health and the environment.  In addition to the Skin Deep Cosmetic Database and Shopper's Guide to Pesticides (which merit their own listings, see below), EWG has published a cell phone radiation report, a drinking water database, and a sunscreen guide. I also like their blog Enviroblog.

EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticide
The source of the "Dirty Dozen" (12 fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide load) and the "Clean 15" (15 fruits and vegetables with the lowest pesticide load), according to analysis by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and the FDA.  If you are on a limited budget and cannot afford to buy all your produce organic, this guide can help you minimize your family's exposure to pesticides

EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetic Database
The mother lode of personal product information.  This awesome resource evaluates every ingredient based on research regarding known and probable carcinogens, reproductive and developmental toxicants.  The higher the score, the more potential toxins your product contains.  The database will direct you towards safer alternatives of your favorite personal products by providing a list sorted by hazard level.  Sadly, sometimes the information is not as completely as up-to-date as we would like.  Compare the ingredient list on your bottle or on a drugstore website and make sure the database is evaluating the current formulation.  You can also look up individual ingredients.

This website provides information about the health, environmental and social impacts of consumer products.  Look up your favorite products and find alternatives that better reflect your preferences and values.  Use the iPhone app to scan barcodes and get mobile advice while shopping in a store.

Greener Choices (Consumer Reports) 
Green information and ratings of green products from a trusted and unbiased source of consumer information.

Healthy Child Healthy World
A non-profit organization focused on protecting children from harmful chemicals.  Their website includes lots of practical information about how to limit children's exposure to toxic chemicals and ways to take action within your community.  Check out the Pocket Guides, Quick Tips, and 5 Easy Steps. I like the blog too. 

The Green Guide (National Geographic)
I like their Buying Guides, which include and overview and what to look for, environmental impact, product comparison, and Smart Shopper's List.  Here is the Plastic Toys Buying Guide, as an example.

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

The Omnivore's Dilemma
This book by Michael Pollan really changed the way I thought about food.  In a nutshell, OD convinced me to strive to eat more naturally, more in harmony with our own biology, more the way our ancestors ate (before fast food and TV dinners came along).  If you eat food, I highly recommend you read it.  For a more accessible/ quickly digested version, you can watch Food Inc., which is based on Omnivore’s Dilemma and Fast Food Nation.

The Green Baby Guide
This is the only blog I read until I started my own blog.  They made cloth diapers seem doable.  I followed in their steps for many months, making small changes as they discussed different topics.   I like the focus on earth-friendly and budget-friendly.  Their suggestions are doable and affordable.  The two authors have now published a book.

What are your resources for green living?

This post is part of Top Ten Tuesday and Works for Me Wednesday.


    1. Do you have any good advice about going green on a budget?

    2. Great List...I just "Tweeted" about it too! Are you on Twitter??

      The pesticide site was very interesting... sometimes I feel like no matte how healthy and "green" I try to be, it's still not good enough.
      Baby steps...right??!!

    3. Kelly, I have a label called "frugal," and I think you'll find many suggestions there that are affordable and that might even save you money. I try to keep price in mind always, because I am naturally a thrifty (cheap) person. It's also important to keep in mind that many cheap things have hidden costs (health, environmental, etc.).

    4. Thanks for sharing these links...I have already used them since you posted them! So great to have something to guide you through the slush pile of the internet.

    5. Thank you very much for the great list! It's really helpful.


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