The term is used to describe a product that meets one of these criteria.
- It has qualities that will protect the environment.
- It has replaced artificial ingredients with natural ingredients.
For example, a cleaning product may be considered green for two distinct reasons.
It may be manufactured without phosphates in order to reduce a source of pollution in the water supply, which makes it better for the environment than a cleaner that contains phosphates.
Or it may contain ingredients derived from natural sources to lower the risk of health problems that can be caused by exposing the skin to artificial dyes or fragrances.
There are no legal guidelines or strict definitions for use of the term, so it is subject to interpretation.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has extensive programs and information to help you supply products that are more energy efficient with fewer toxic components, optimize material use and are, where possible, recyclable, listed at the EPA's Retail Industry Portal.