Buyer beware

Buyer beware
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First Published: Tue, Apr 21 2009. 10 49 PM IST
Updated: Tue, Apr 21 2009. 10 49 PM IST
New Delhi: A beautiful, yellow duvet made from 100% bamboo. Stylish and green? Is it too good to be true? Bamboo is the green industry’s favourite go-to material. But look a bit closer: the bright yellow comes from chemical dyes that emit toxins and pollute at the factory site. It’s a chemical wolf dressed up in bamboo clothing.
There’s more to creating a green product than just meeting one requirement. Here’s four things to ask to keep from being duped.
Where is it from?
Check where the product came from. Imported from Canada? That’s a long flight oozing carbon emissions.
What happens next?
When you’re finished with a product, where will it wind up? Can it be recycled, reconfigured, reused? Ask this about the product’s packaging too.
What’s in the fine print?
Just because one sustainable material is used doesn’t necessarily mean the product is green. Check to make sure there aren’t dangerous paints, finishes or adhesives that add an unhealthy layer to an otherwise green product.
Who’s in charge?
Some companies present a green face to the public to cloak environmentally damaging practices. Does the company’s sustainable philosophy go further than just one or two green products?
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First Published: Tue, Apr 21 2009. 10 49 PM IST