When looking around for new items for your house make sure you check into the environmental credentials and claims that the product's manufacturer and distributors are making. Green, eco and sustainable branding is the new 'in' thing, with many companies using this strategy as their new marketing tool. For those trying to do the right thing, but are time poor, it can be a difficult minefield to navigate and determine which products are those in fact making a positive difference to the environment.
Sure it comes down to personal choice and what you find meets your criteria for an 'environmentally appropriate' product. But there are many products that are blatantly using green branding to highlight themselves without actually making a difference. And in some cases these green branded products are more environmentally detrimental than the 'standard' products. Be wary!
The best thing to do is determine what you are happy to accept in the way of environmental features for your product and then start your research. For example, if you're looking for a white good product, environmental features you might consider important are: cradle-to-grave impacts, ongoing environmental impact(s) and efficiency (water and/or electricity).
There are a number of websites that can assist compare products, their environmental features and tell you whether their environmental claims are accurate or not. Some of these websites are government-owned, whilst others are maintained by the private industry. Some of the ones I have found useful include:
WELS rating (water efficiency)
So, if you are planning on investing some of your hard-earned money into new products for your home, try and spend some time researching their environmental impact(s) and their environmental claims.