CERTIFICATION - WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
You may have noticed that there are lots of symbols and logos out there, but when it comes to choosing a sustainable, eco-friendly or organic product, what do they mean? It can get very confusing when you are trying to buy such products. I know, because when I first became conscious of the items we were buying, I started to pull my hair out trying to figure it all out. Like me, I am sure you are trying to buy more natural eco-friendly products, but often are worried that the items aren’t truly what they state on the packages.
This is where certification gives you the confidence in knowing that the products have met a standard, have been independently assessed and truly label what is in the package? Here, I have gathered a list of the most common symbols you will see in Australia.
AUSTRALIAN CERTIFIED ORGANIC LOGO
Any time you see the ACO logo, whether on food or cosmetic products, you can be assured the product contains a minimum of 95% certified organic ingredients, with all remaining ingredients naturally sourced and derived.
ACO strives to ensure integrity, impartiality and authenticity in trade to protect rights and interests of consumers of organic products.
For more information check out www.aco.net.au
CARBON NEUTRAL SYMBOL
The Carbon neutral symbol promotes care for our climate and the environment by performing carbon audits in raw materials, fuel & electricity and waste used in the production and distribution of the product. Carbon Neutral certification program requires a carbon audit which calculates the CO2 emissions. The following links explain the carbon neutral symbol in more detail:
You may know a little about the FAIRTRADE Certification Mark, but just in case you don’t I will explain it briefly. It is an ethical trade system that puts people first and it means the producers and traders have met social, environmental and economic standards. The Standards are designed to support the sustainable development of small-scale producers and agricultural workers in the poorest countries in the world. By the way, did you know the Fairtrade logo is a farmer waving thank you for your fairtrade purchase.
GLOBAL ORGANIC TOXIC STANDARD
When buying clothes you want to be assured of their safety and their environmental credentials. GOTS ensures the organic status of textiles, from harvesting of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labelling. This is to assure you that when you buy a GOTS labelled product it is truly organic and ethically manufactured.
During the manufacture process a lot of chemicals and toxic dyes can be used on fibers and materials. To ensure textile raw materials, intermediate and end products at all stages are free of harmful substances another certification can be obtained known as Oeko-Tex standard. This means not only will the products produced under this certification are not harmful to your health but safer for the producers and the environment.
Ecocert certification was established in France and set up to develop environmentally friendly and sustainable agriculture. Ecocert is specialized in the certification of organic agricultural products and has contributed to the expansion of organic farming.
NASAA CERTIFIED ORGANIC
NASAA certified organic is an Australian standard – not to be confused with NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). NASAA stands for Australian standard for National Association of Sustainable Agriculture Australia. This body is involved with developing and maintaining organic standards, as well as educating producers, retailers and the public.
AUSTRALIAN MADE LOGO
I know a lot of you know what this symbol means, but do you look for it. Shopping for Australian made and grown products not only means you are supporting Australian business and employment, but it means if you buy products with this symbol within Australia you will lowering the carbon footprint.
CHOOSE CRUELTY FREE (CCF)
This is one of the symbols I look for a lot. It means that any products with this symbol have never been tested on animals, nor has the product ingredients. This means you can be confident these products are produced without causing harm to animals, to you and to our planet.
So, I hope this helps you and makes your shopping trips a lot easier, especially trying to decide on organic, sustainable, environmentally friendly products.