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Earth Day might have made you want to turn over a new leaf and opt for “green” products — not just for your kids and family, but for the sake of the environment. But you may have noticed that when it comes to “green" products, quality can vary a lot and that most of them cost extra. Here at Consumer Reports, we’ve noticed the same thing.
But we've also found a handful of green products that perform as well as or better than traditional ones. They’re listed below. (Keep in mind, however, that there's no standard definition for claims like "green," "natural" or "nontoxic" on any product, and that those claims often go unverified, as well.)
Go green? Yes
Green update: The detergents that perform best in our tests (Cascade Complete products get top scores) usually have environmentally unfriendly phosphates, which boost algae growth in fresh water, threatening fish and plants. But greener, phosphate-free options held their own in our latest test. More than three brands scored very well and cost less than a few conventional cleaners.
Smart Picks: Biokleen With Natural Oxygen Bleach Powder, 26 cents per load; Method Smarty Dish, 25 cents per load; Ecover Tablets, 24 cents per load.
Go green? Maybe
Green update: None of the eco-friendly laundry detergents we recently tested earned our top scores, but we found a couple that are worth trying, especially for your less grungy loads. And one of them is about half the price of other brands. (For really dirty laundry, Tide 2X Ultra with Color Clean Bleach Alternative for HE and regular machines is best.)
Smart Picks: For conventional top-loaders: Method Squeaky Green 3X Concentrated HE 31 cents per load. For high-efficiency washers: Seventh Generation Natural Powdered HE, 36 cents per load.