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More About Our Green Filter

Green Depot was created with one central goal: to make quality, green products accessible so that green living and building can be easy, worthwhile and gratifying. At Green Depot, we believe that any green choice - big or small - is a positive step for our planet. To address the incredible growth in demand that's occurred over the last few years, a growing number of companies are marketing their products as green. Green Depot's Green Filter is designed to help us select high-performance products that are truly green and not just "greenwashed."

High Performance? Before we evaluate whether the product is truly green, we make sure that the product works, and works well. Green Depot evaluates each product's performance to determine if it performs as well as-if not better than-comparable products in the marketplace. If it does, we run the product through our Green Filter.

Greenwashing? Greenwashing is a term used to describe exaggerated, misleading, or inaccurate statements by a company regarding the environmental benefits of a product or service, or the environmental practices of the company.

Examples of greenwashing include:
  • Calling a product "recyclable" when there is no practical collection system or market for the material or the product at end-of-life. In other words, the product is unlikely to actually be recycled.
  • Calling a product "biodegradable" when the product will either end up in a landfill -- where even the most biodegradable materials do not biodegrade -- or it will be burned in a garbage incinerator.
  • Calling a product "green" because it is made of recyclable or renewable materials, but the finishes (paints) are made from materials that are harmful to humans and the environment
  • Calling a product's packaging recyclable or "green" when the contents are decidely not green.
The Green Filter was developed by our in-house experts and outside advisors with expertise in all aspects of what makes a product good for people and the planet, and was designed to address the full range of product issues.

How does the Green Filter work?

Safety for people and the planet is our first concern. Manufacturers must provide information on the composition of their products. We look for safe ingredients, and when possible, we favor materials that are bio-based, rapidly renewable and recycled. Ingredients are checked against databases of chemicals known to be carcinogenic, harmful to reproductive or developmental health, or toxic in the environment. (These databases were developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, and the non-profit Environmental Defense Fund. In some cases, our product inquiries are leading manufacturers to reformulate their products to make them safer. That's a winning outcome for everyone!) We also check to see whether products are flammable or otherwise dangerous.

Green credibility. Green Depot determines if a product conserves energy or resources, is good for air or water quality, is made locally, and if the manufacturer is socially responsible. We have also selected a small number of green certification and labeling systems, from among the hundreds in the marketplace today, that recognize truly green products, and we use them to inform our product evaluations. In some cases, our internal standards are more stringent than those contained in these green certification programs.

Icon System

Green Depot has developed an icon system to help us tell the story about how each of our products contributes to a better world. We award full- or half-toned icons based on whether the products meet or exceed our internal standards in each category. Read more »

Air Quality Conservation Local Energy Responsibility
Because Americans spend 90% of their time indoors, Green Depot sources products that help identify and filter out pollutants and allergens, and that do not emit harmful chemicals.
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Green Depot uses several criteria to determine if a product helps conserve or protect resources. We look at the type and quantity of material used to make products, at renewability, recycled content, durability and other considerations.
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To reduce transportation energy and help support local green jobs, Green Depot strives to source products that are made locally.
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Green Depot evaluates products to determine whether they will save the user energy over "mainstream" products.
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Green Depot seeks to source products from companies that have gone the extra mile to improve environmental and safety performance at their factories and are exemplary corporate citizens.
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Let us be your guide. Green Depot staff members are experts in each of our product lines and can guide you to the products and services that best suit your needs. We can also provide you with information on complementary products and installation techniques.

Whether you're an individual searching for a healthier way to live, a way to cut energy costs or increase the value of your home, or a professional or LEED builder looking to spec out your next job, you've come to the right place. Email or call us (800) 238-5800 now to see how we can help you get the job done right.