Ok, so there are a lot of choices of cleaning products out there for the environmentally friendly, but 2 of the most popular ones are from Seventh Generation and Method. Both companies have a full array of cleaning supplies that range from dish soap to laundry detergent to spray cleaners. Both claim to be friendly to the environment and bio-degradeable, and I have no doubt that they are. But what are the differences between the two? Why would (or should) you pick one over the other? For this little comparison, I picked one product from each company…dish soap. They are comparable in that they are citrus blends and non-toxic. And away we go!
First up, Seventh Generation Natural Citrus Dishwashing Liquid This product smells great and works wonders on our dishes, without all that crap that other “mainstream” companies pile into their bottles. They pride themselves on their eco-friendliness, even going so far as to move their offices into a green building. The president, Jeffrey Hollender, even writes a blog called Inspired Protagonist, which aims to “inspire the few who will inspire the many, bringing wealth and well-being to all who live and are about to live (seven generations) on the planet. We seek to add the action of change to every word”.
That’s great and all, kind sir, but what about their products? Are they safe? Are they really environmentally friendly? Well, I would say so indeed. They list every ingredient in their product so consumers can make an informed decision as to what they are buying.
So, as you can see, they are completely upfront with what is in their products. They seem to have a genuine care for the environment, as evidenced through their work with other organizations, their blog, their weekly newsletter and their green headquarters. If you want to try out some of their stuff, you can get it at your local Whole Foods or Wild Oats (I am sure there are others) or online at several different places.
Next up, Method Cucumber Dish Soap. First off, Method has some great designers working for them. Even if you didnt care about the environment, their packaging is the best looking stuff on the household items shelf. I’m sure the design alone is enough to get people to buy the product. However, thats not what we are discussing here. (But do they look good!) We have used this product in our house as well, and it too does a great job of cleaning the burnt chicken off the frying pan. All the scents we have tried smell great, and they dont dry your hands out or sting your eyes when the bubbles fly off your hardworking limbs.
But here is the bad news…Method wont tell you what is in their product. They will give you a general idea (non-toxic, biodegradeable, sulfate free), but they will not give you their “secret formula”. From the website:
“method uses unique proprietary cleaning formulas, and for intellectual property reasons we do not give out the specific names of the chemicals we use.
Our products do not contain acids, chlorine or propylene glycol, phosphates, hydrocarbons or other polluting chemicals and are 100% biodegradable. They are non-toxic and do not give off harmful vapors.”
Ok, so that being said, I think they need to release their ingredients list. Companies can tell us anything they want, but until we can all see for ourselves, I remain skeptical. If Seventh Generation can tell us, what is Method hiding? I am sure its nothing sinister….and I believe they are making good eco-friendly products, but telling us what is in the product they want us to buy would go a long way with “green” consumers. Method has their marketing down pat…the colors, the designs, the website, the slogans; they all work. And they work well. But please, Method people, won’t you let us in on your secret? If you are interested in trying out some of their stuff, you can get it many places including Target, or online .
So is there a clear winner in all of this? I guess the verdict is out for now. They are both supposedly safe for the environment. But the choice for our house is the Seventh Generation stuff. We use their dish soap, household cleaners and recycled paper towels and tp..and we love all of them. They smell good, work wonders on stains and dishes, and are reasonably priced. Plus, they see it necessary to tell me what is in their product, which is a big part in our decision to use them.
Anyone have an opinion on which one is better? Which one do you use? Please, let me know!