• Sat, Sep 12 2009

Green Company Review: Seventh Generation

Seventh Generation recently sent me a load of eco-products to test out. Of course I’ll be posting some reviews soon, but first we should take a look at the company as a whole, plus their eco-perks.

seventh generation company

BASICS:

Seventh Generation is arguably one of the most well-known green companies around. They were one of the first self-declared “socially responsible” companies and have been around for 20 years. The company makes a slew of products, some that are very green and some that could be greener, but all in all, they offer some great product choices for green households in various categories…

  • Laundry Products
  • Dishwashing Products
  • Household Cleaners
  • Household Paper & Supplies
  • Products for Baby
  • Feminine Care

seventh generation

    ECO-PERKS OF SEVENTH GENERATION:

    • Seventh Generation notes that they’re committed to helping consumers make informed choices and I’d say that they’re doing a good job in this area. They fully disclose all ingredients at their website and on their packaging plus offer MSDS sheets. If you want to know what’s in your Seventh Generation cleaner, they make it ultra easy to find out, unlike some eco-companies.
    • Some of their packaging is made with recycled content (2 bottles (18%) are 75% PCR; remainder are 25% PCR; 1/3 of our boxes are 100% PCR; remainder are 30–40% PCR). Almost all their packaging is easily recycled and they disclose when it’s not.
    • They donate 10% of profits to non-profit community, environmental, health, and responsible business organizations working for positive change.
    • They recently eliminated synthetics in all fragrances.
    • They make non-toxic products with zero chlorine bleach, phosphates, dyes, NTA or EDTA.
    • Because the company makes recycled paper  products and less toxic goods, the company helps to save scads of trees, water, petroleum, and energy yearly.
    • No animal testing.
    • They have green corporate office policies in place – for example using recycle paper and recycling.
    • Also, this is an eco-company that works. For example, while there are plenty of eco-companies around, but they’re only as good as their outreach to consumers. You can easily find Seventh Generation products at just about any store and in online shops. They promote their products and have actually built up a brand, which is something I wish more green companies would work on, because if consumers can’t locate products, if they can’t learn more about a company then they won’t buy those products, they’ll maybe buy other more toxic products. They’re also affordable and offer coupons often.

    COMPANY NEGATIVES:

    • They make disposable diapers that do not biodegrade. They also make diapers with SAP which is a questionable green debate right now – i.e. it could be ok, but maybe not. Their baby wipes also do not biodegrade.
    • There’s non-biodegradable synthetic polymer in their auto dish powder and gel.
    • Their new labels on cleaners rock – info wise. However, all of them peel off right away and then leave a lame sticky area on the back of the bottle. Annoying.
    • While their cleaners are less toxic than many conventional cleaners out there, you’ve still got that new bottle to recycle. It’s still more eco-friendly to make your own cleaners, although, of course some people will always want to simply purchase cleaning supplies.
    • They use plastic backing on their feminine care products; which yes, is made out of oil.
    • Some cleaning products could be improved – for example, I’ve tried a few green dishwasher detergents that clean better than Seventh Generation’s brand.

    OVERALL:

    It’s hard to give a company a full on green rating, because I’m just one green girl with one opinion, but overall, I’d give them a…

    3.5 eco trees

    3.5 out of 5 little trees. They’re a fairly good green company with many products that work well, a few that don’t and they could make some eco-improvements. However, I do love their disclosures and the fact that they’re continually setting and meeting new eco-goals. Stick around for some product specific reviews coming up.

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