Wednesday, October 5, 2005

"Green" standards

Organic

Nationally, the Department of Agriculture is responsible for certifying organic foods. The USDA Organic seal can be found on foods containing at least 95% organic ingredients. Organic crops are defined as being produced without the use of conventional pesticides, fertilizers with synthetic ingredients, sewage sludge, bioengineering, or ionizing radiation. Organic animal products are produced without the use of antibiotics or growth hormones. This production method is generally acknowledged as more sustainable, and helps to enhance the environment as a whole by enriching the soil and cutting down on the harmful runoff of pesticides and fertilizers. An added benefit is keeping excess hormones and pesticides out of our bodies. The cost of organics varies due to produce seasonality (organic produce is only available when naturally ripe) and exotic nature (the harder it is to grow something organically, the higher the price). To learn more visit usda.gov. Source: The United States Department of Agriculture

FSC Certification

To receive a certification from the Forest Stewardship Council, companies and landowners selling forest products such as timber must practice sustainable forestry management. Independent certification organizations ensure that the companies receiving FSC certification use the forest for environmental and social benefit, as well as in an economically viable manner. Around the world, there are 131 million acres of FSC certified forestland, and retailers throughout the United States carry both building supplies and paper products with FSC certification. For a list of all products and companies with FSC certification visit fscus.org. Source: Forest Stewardship Council

From The Nature Conservancy e-mail

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