Better Everyday Green Products

You want to do the right thing for the planet, but it's not always easy being green. A recent Consumer Reports poll shows two big reasons shoppers have stopped using green products are high prices and poor performance.

Consumer Reports ShopSmart says testers have found lots of green products are duds, but a few are worth trying.

Laundry detergent, Dishwasher detergent, Toilet Paper. Consumer Reports has tested them all.

Lisa Lee Freeman of CR ShopSmart says, "When it comes to green cleaners and paper products, our testers have found that quality varies a lot."

Take dishwasher detergent.

Freeman says, "The best-performing ones usually have phosphates, which are bad for the environment."

But phosphate-free dishwasher detergents are not great cleaners.

However, a few are worth trying, including ones from Biokleen, Ecover, and Method.

Another plus, you don't have to pay a premium for them.

What about laundry detergent?

Freeman says, "Unfortunately, none of the eco-friendly laundry detergents we've tested earned top scores."

But tests show if your laundry isn't too grungy, there are some green detergents worth trying.

For regular top-loaders, Method Squeaky Green 3X Concentrated. And for high-efficiency washers- powdered Seventh Generation Natural Laundry Detergent.

Then there's toilet paper. Of the 16 products tested, most of the recycled toilet papers weren't as tough...or as soft as conventional ones.

Freeman says, "But we did find that recycled toilet paper broke down easily in our disintegration tests. And that's good for your septic systems and the environment."

Marcall Small Steps is a good green choice. And it's also less expensive than some big brand names, so it'll save you some green at the store, too!

As for paper towels, Consumer Reports tests found recycled ones didn't come close to big-name brands like Bounty and Viva, or even store brands. Only one did okay. It's White Cloud's Green Earth.

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