Survey Asks Which Green Certification or Label Program Can Be Trusted

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Healthy House Institute (HHI) survey to gauge consumer confidence in green certification or label programs.

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Consumers have choices when it comes to validation of products via certification or green labels

"Which green certification or label program do you trust the most?" That's the question asked in a survey sponsored by Maid Brigade at The Healthy House Institute (HHI) Web site (http://www.healthyhouseinstitute.com), in an effort to gauge consumer confidence in green certification or label programs, and help educate the site's visitors about the choices available. The survey lists Green Seal, EcoLogo, and GreenGuard, among others.

It is a question that has become increasingly important. A study released February 6, 2009 by Green Seal and EnviroMedia at the University of Oregon's Greenwashing Forum showed that 82% of consumers purchase green products even in a down economy.

But the study also highlights the need for credible certification programs. The practice of "greenwashing" -- making false or exaggerated claims of a product's eco-friendliness -- has raised consumer skepticism. One in three of the randomly chosen respondents said they don't know whether to believe green claims in product advertising. 24% say they rely heavily on product labeling to determine whether the claims are true.

As the demand grows for environmentally responsible products, so does the demand for standards to measure the legitimacy of green claims. Enter green certification or validation programs, which aim to develop and promote standards and even verify compliance. But are all certification or green approval programs equal?

"Consumers have choices when it comes to validation of products via certification or green labels," says Allen Rathey, president of The Healthy House Institute (HHI). "Our goal is to explain more about what those choices mean."

At its Web site, The Healthy House Institute® (HHI) publishes research, data and news regarding green living, with an emphasis on what it calls "healthy" homes. An article currently featured on its homepage explains the EPA's "Design for the Environment (DfE)" designation in real-world terms. Other articles on the site cover green certification or approval programs such as the Carpet and Rug Institute's Green Label and Seal of Approval, Green Seal, GreenGuard, and LEED. Reports on accredited green programs, such as that based on The National Green Building Standard by the National Association of Home Builders, can also be found on the site.

"Our mission is to educate consumers with reliable, verified information," says Rathey, "Consumers want to be able to choose products with some reassurance that the products they are using will not have harmful effects on either the global environment or, in particular for HHI readers, on their indoor environments."

Cloud Conrad, VP-Brand Strategies for Maid Brigade, adds, "A growing body of evidence suggests human and environmental toxins are associated with the cleaning industry. Consumers have a right to know that the products they use and/or the cleaning companies they hire are going to actually deliver the health and environmental benefits they seek, but they typically don't have the time or knowledge to do their own research. Green certification programs help consumers purchase with confidence. We are proud to sponsor this survey because it helps to build consumer awareness of these various certifications."

To participate in The Healthy House Institute's "Which Green Certification or Label Program Do You Trust the Most?" Survey sponsored by Maid Brigade, visit http://www.healthyhouseinstitute.com (see bottom of home page).

About HHI
The Healthy House Institute® (HHI) provides consumers information to make their homes healthier. HHI strives to be the most comprehensive educational resource available for creating healthier homes. Rather than preaching to the converted, HHI seeks to reach a mainstream educated consumer with credible information merging the best of 'green' with the best of healthier homes research, indoor environmental data, health and medical science, into a practical, timely, easily digestible but comprehensive message. HHI strives to be a truly authoritative voice that has the 'ear' and trust of major media, influentials, and most importantly, the intelligent consumer.

About Maid Brigade
Headquartered in Atlanta, Maid Brigade is an international residential cleaning service with more than 400 franchised service areas throughout the United States and Canada. The first national house cleaning company to introduce green cleaning, Maid Brigade remains at the forefront of the residential cleaning industry. Maid Brigade's leadership extends to consumer advocacy work, helping to educate consumers about the health risks associated with traditional cleaning chemicals and methods through an educational Web site, http://www.greencleancertified.com. Since 1979, customers have depended on Maid Brigade to provide a safe, healthy and thorough cleaning, along with superior, guaranteed service. For more information, visit http://www.maidbrigade.com or call 888-79-GREEN.

Reference Source:

Enviromedia press release announcing "Green Buying" consumer survey http://www.enviromedia.com/news-item.php?id=685

Media Contact:
Allen Rathey, 208-938-3137

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