Written by Austin Sankey, Programs Intern, Texan by Nature
With dozens of labels and certifications on our food and products nowadays, it can be all too easy to become overwhelmed and overlook those that make a meaningful effort to responsibly conserve our greatest resources. Out of the hundreds of options you have on your routine shopping list, here is a list of 5 labels and their meanings to help you become part of the solution. At Texan by Nature, we recognize the impact that every single person can make. That’s why we’re kicking off our #TxN5WayFriday series, providing weekly insight on being Texan by Nature. Here are five ways to choose responsible labels while shopping.
Products: Meat, dairy, and eggs
Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) provides consumers with the guarantee that their certification holds meat and dairy producers to the highest animal care and environmental standards in the industry. Founded in 2006, AWA is a market-based solution to our ever increasing consumption of meat and dairy products. Keeping the environment and the wellbeing of all life, AWA is accredited to ISO guideline 65 and is the most credible option to help stop farm animal cruelty.
Products: Fresh and processed foods
USDA’s National Organic Program began in 2002 to regulate the standards for organic farming practices. Any farm, wild crop harvesting, or handling operation wishing to be accredited as “organically produced” must be pre-approved and compile with the USDA’s strict guidelines. The approval methods of the USDA integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may never be used under any circumstance to maintain accreditation.
Rainforest Alliance Certified/Verified
Products: Coffee, tea, chocolate, fruit juice, wood and paper products, personal care and more
The Rainforest Alliance works diligently and responsibly to conserve and preserve biodiversity around the world. Through the improvement of livelihoods by promoting and evaluating the implementation of the most conservation minded strategies, the Rainforest Alliance is the most globally respected certifier in sustainable goods in an array of fields. An RA-Certification provides forestry, agriculture and carbon/climate clients with independent and transparent verification, validation and certification services based on only the highest standards designed to accelerate and stimulate ecological and economic growth.
Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an ambitious foundation to revive and sustain the world’s fisheries. Through the promotion, education and spread of sustainable fishing practices and accreditation of seafood markets, the availability of credible seafood is growing globally.
Products: Shower heads, toilets, urinals, bathroom faucets, landscaping irrigation controllers, and more
WaterSense is an extension to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that is pursuing a future with plentiful, clean water supplies. Offering the public a simple key to use less water with each purchase, WaterSense seeks to hold a plethora of water consuming products to high environmental standards. Most notably, all products and services approved with the WaterSense label and certification have been verified to be at least 20 percent more efficient without sacrificing performance.