March 17, 2012

EcoLabels, Standards & Guidelines In Green 101 (Part 1)

In my ever-constant surfing of the internet trying to stay afloat of the many emails, posts, notices and flagged-messages that bombard us every day, I came across a few titles that caught my attention and presaged my vernal overhaul. The over-used and often under-explained words GREEN and SUSTAINABLE flashed across my eyes. There I was looking at pretty pictures of hand-painted tiles and American edifications mimicking European castles and like a neon sign the substance and weight of those Eco-words halted my pace and tripped me into the pool of guilt, hidden in my mind’s backyard; there it all was no longer tiled with pretty Murano glass mosaics but with yellow-bricks-of-post-its, messages written to self, reminding me to balance the fluff with matters of substance and responsible takes on our surroundings; my own nagging called me to balance the “Pretty” with substance and  to add more technical and hopefully, altruistic subjects, the weighty matters of ecology, amongst other topics, materialized into the mental inbox, stocked-up and titled Carlos-To-Do-List. HECK! I actually heard Sarah McLachlan’s lyrics to Angel. I clicked a couple of posts that made use of the trendy GREEN and any of its SUSTAINABLE iterations. These went from the Rating Labels that will determine how environmentally conscious are ATT mobile devices to the update of an Armstrong’s flooring product receiving a Gold Level Certification-of course, flooring is but one of the tangible surfaces and my inquiring mind wanted to know about the rest…I will follow-up-read: additional blogs!!!

First let’s discuss the yarns that started this quest, the Green mobile post. Sustainable Brands posted that ATT is launching a new eco-rating tool for mobile devices. This was developed by ATT and SBR, a sustainability consultant group. In the upcoming months, consumers will have access to in-store and online material which will advise on their mobile product and how these are rated from a GREEN perspective; the content will include information about product manufacturing, used materials, energy efficiency and end-of-life options for ATT mobile devices. Keep in mind, this classification system is not an open process development but done by and for ATT and its affiliated companies; there are 15 key criteria to be met, exciting news, but, the standards used for classification is somewhat unclear. With a follow-up visit to the ATT website, I gathered some of the attributes covered: recycled content, restrictions of toxic or questionable compounds such as lead/mercury/cadmium, They did post that “an overall rating will represent the composite score of environmental attributes”.

I opened the next post, an announcement about Armstrong’s Linoleum product currently being NSF/ANSI 332 Gold Level Certified. Hmmm…time for a refreshment course on ecolabels and the standards that inform and help govern our footprint. Back in a few…

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