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Consumer Reports 'decodes' eco-labels with iPhone app

Consumer Reports 'decodes' eco-labels with iPhone app

Posting in Sustainability

Content offers assessments of both generic marketing terms as well as specific certifications and labels.

Tortured by the number of eco-labels beckoning from store shelves? Trying to figure out which one might carry the most weight for your own product?

Consumer Reports has released a new Apple iPhone and iPad mobile application that aims to help people sort through the various claims they must consider on a regular basis, so that they can make more informed choices about the products that bear them. The software builds on the guide that the organization created and has published on the Greenerchoices.org Web site.

"As the popularity of green products continues go grow, it's important to know which green marketing claims you can trust and which you can't," said Urvashi Rangan, Consumer Reports' director of consumer safety and sustainability, explaining the rationale behind the application.

The software, which is a $0.99 download from the Apple iTunes store, looks at both generic terms as well as specific certifications and labels that are being used in product marketing. (You can find it under the utilities category in the store.)

For example, it explores what the term "organic" means in certain instances -- and explains why it is meaningless in some contexts.

The software also lets you know which labels are not only meaningful, but are independent and have been verified by some sort of third party.

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Heather Clancy

Section Editor

Heather Clancy has written for United Press International, ZDNet, Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times. She holds a degree from McGill University. She is based in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure