Organic Consumers Association

Green Guide Top Product Picks for 2004

The Green Guide announces its top twelve product picks for 2004

From The Green Guide Institute
Monday, November 10, 2003

This holiday season, The Green Guide offers its first annual round up of
authentic eco-products?and those to avoid. Choosing from 12 categories,
ranging from soap to automobiles, the Guide has selected top product picks
from each to help consumers ease environmental impacts and adopt a healthier
lifestyle. "This issue is in response to reader demands for a one-stop guide
to products that it's currently most important to buy green for the sake of
the environment and our health, " says editor Mindy Pennybacker. During The
Green Guide's first decade of publication, the organic-food market has grown
by an average 20 percent a year, and reliable ecolabels have come into being
for other items, such as wood and paper. Yet not all labels are reliable,
and well-meaning consumers feel pressured to make sweeping lifestyle
changes. The Green Guide has stepped in to help sort through claims and
suggests a few choices one can make in daily life, right now, that will have
far-reaching impacts on the marketplace. According to a recent poll, 69
percent of subscribers have purchased a product or service after reading
about it in The Green Guide, which accepts no advertising. To help readers
further, "We plan to publish this top products guide annually," says
publisher Wendy Gordon.

Below are the top picks and the reasons to choose them. All are available by
mail and phone order.For contact info, more great products and a look at
labels, see the current issue at

1. Organic Food: Diamond Organics Fruit and Vegetable samplers & Simply
Grazin' Organic Farms Beef
With up to 51 pesticide residues found on conventional produce and feedlot
conditions resulting in recalls of contaminated beef, buying organic is is
the healthy choice, especially for children.

2. Kitchenware: Le Creuset 10" Teflon-free enameled cast iron skillet
Non-stick pans coated in Teflon and similar surfaces can release PFOA, found
in the blood of 96% of children tested in 23 states. This chemical has been
linked to human birth defects.

3. Coffee and Chocolate: Grounds for Change Organic, Shade-Grown, Fair Trade
Sumatra Roast Coffee; Green & Black's Fair Trade Organic Maya Gold Chocolate
Conventional coffee-growing practices decimate bird species, while 300,000
West African children endure dangerous working conditions on cacao farms.

4. Soap and Shampoo: Terressentials Fragrance-Free Pure Earth Hair Wash
Phthalates found in fragrances used in personal care products are hormone
disruptors shown to cause birth defects in animals.

5. Wood Furniture: Berkeley Mills' FSC-certified Lambda Chair
39.5 million acres of forest vanish every year, making it essential to
choose sustainably-harvested wood.

6. Upholstered Furniture: IKEA PBDE-free Lillberg Sofa
PBDE, a fire retardant used in foam cushions and mattresses, is appearing in
the breast milk of North American women in exponentially-increasing amounts.

7. Carpets: Un-finished, hand-washable Tibetan Rugs from Yayla Tribal Rugs
Wall-to-wall carpets trap years of flea eggs, dirt, and molds while
releasing volatile organic compounds from glues and finishes triggering
asthma attacks.

8. Cotton: Maggie's Organic Cotton Socks
Conventional cotton growing is responsible for the use of $2.6 billion in
pesticides annually.

9. Paper: Dolphin Blue Holiday Cards (soy ink on 50% PCW recycled and 50%
recovered cotton paper)
Only 5% of paper consumed in the US is made from recycled pulp.

10. Computers: Nec's PowerMate ECO desktop
Lead-free, PVC-free, mercury-free, cadmium-free, chromium-free, boron-free,
flat-panel screen, recyclable plastic, and Energy Star compliant.

11. Light Bulbs: Lumiram's 20-watt Compact Fluorescent bulb
If every US household switched to CFL bulbs in only one room, power plants
would release one trillion pounds less CO2 into the atmosphere annually.

12. Cars: 2004 Toyota Prius hybrid
Half the pollution and half the gasoline bill of a mid-sized car.

The Green Guide is a bimonthly consumer newsletter published in print and on
the web, with web-only articles, product reports and Q&As. Subscriptions are
$15, $10 if bought on website,

Contact for press access to website

For more information, contact:

Paul McRandle
Senior Research Editor
The Green Guide Institute
PO Box 567, Prince Street Station
New York, NY 10012

Web site:

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