24 September 2010

Survey reveals green living is a priority for a majority of households

Do we think that our lives are more green than they actually are? When you do your weekly grocery shopping, how often do you reach for the “greener” product? How often do you feel 100% confident that what you’re buying is eco-friendly?

I feel as though a lot of these questions are ones that need some serious thought and mulling over. It’s easy to reach for the more eco-friendly product on the shelf and feel good about what you’re buying, but do we really know as much as we think we do?

A recent survey by Marcal Small Steps and parenting magazine, Kiwi Magazine, asked females between the ages of 25 and 54 about how green their households are. The results that came back were quite eye opening. Over half of the women (59 percent) said that they lived either a “somewhat green” or “very green” lifestyle. These women said that they make efforts to incorporate green practices into their homes and to buy green products.

However, the survey also showed that while they may have the right interests in mind, appropriate knowledge about environmentally friendly products is lacking. Sixty-two percent of the women surveyed said that they believe that 25 to 50 percent of U.S. paper products are made from 100 percent recycled papers. However, in reality, only about 2 percent of U.S. paper products are made with 100 percent recycled papers.

How can we ensure that what we are buying is as environmentally friendly as possible? Marcal Small Steps is taking the initiative to make it easier for families to buy green paper products. Their products are made with 100 percent recycled material and they have included an Environmental Facts label onto all Marcal products. These labels outline everything that goes into their paper products, as well as what their impact is on the environment. This should be a useful tool for many and other companies should consider implementing the same standards. Just as it is important to read food labels and to know what is being put into our bodies, it’s also important to know what is being put into our homes.

Along these lines, the Federal Trade Commission has set out to create new green guidelines for marketers. The guidelines will be used to prevent confusing or misleading advertisements and to help consumers know the truths about the products they are buying. They will tighten the current guidelines for marketing products as “green” or “recyclable.” These new guidelines could potentially change many of the seemingly environmentally friendly products on our shelves.

To find out more about Marcal Small Steps Products go to www.marcalsmallsteps.com.

Angela Goldberg
Angela is a recent graduate of Ithaca College where she studied writing and anthropology. You can also find Angela at Angela Rae Photography.

Photo credit: cc: flickr.com/photos/naturewise


  1. If Marcal is so concerned about the environment, why don't they:
    1) Tell us how to use less paper. There are many ways. Cloth napkins, hanky's and towels all make much more eco-sense. You can use discarded clothes, and be much more green
    2) Stop shipping product made in NJ, across the US. That would make a much bigger environmental impact.
    3) Clean the river next to their plant, that they have polluted for 50 years and destroyed. Why not clean that up, with their illicit, false green claims to make profits? You can't walk away from your past. Even though they are trying. Try and really be green, not pretend to be green
    Facts, when properly examined, speak for themselves. If you think Marcal is eco-friendly, you have not done your homework.

  2. You can probably make the same assertions for just about any company, Jenna. If you produce something, anything, you really aren't truly green. You have to take the good with the bad sometimes. An attempt is better than not doing anything at all.

  3. @Jenna I think the point is the company is "as environmentally friendly as possible." No company selling a product can be perfect when it comes to the environment. Just by proxy they are creating waste and pollutants, using gas to transport their goods to stores, using electricity, etc. etc. etc.

    The more telling part of the article is the stats that almost 60 percent of the respondents said they were "green." I highly doubt that these people were telling the truth. All you have to do is step out your door and look around to see how "green" our society is.