Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Green Office

Green Office is an online retailer of recycled, environmentally friendly, and sustainable business products, school supplies, and paper.

What I like about this online stores is that you can sort products not only by name or price but also by "greenness". Greenness is determined by their "green screen", which rates products based on the amount of recycled content they contain, their biodegradability, their chemical content, and third party verification of products and companies. This allows you to select a product by attributes other than quality or price. If a product costs more due to the green way in which it was made, this is now evident. As a consumer you can choose how much extra you are willing to spend for greenness.

I have written before on green labeling, but for some reason the idea of having an online store to make it happen never crossed by mind. I think it is a really good idea, as it is easier to display additional green information to the customers online than in a physical store.

While I like the idea behind this store, the data collected on their products is still a little sparse. Many products have no green information at all. I also would like to see how much energy it took to produce each product (see Acres and Gallons). The information given lets you know what the greenness paper you can buy is, but it doesn't let you know how much you would save by not purchasing the paper at all (possibly by going all digital). Listing the amount of energy required to make it would help to make this decision.

via TreeHugger

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