It aint easy being green, especially when the ground is shifting all the time. A 2010 GfK Roper Consulting found that two-thirds of Americans think green products are overpricedand a third think they dont work as well as the conventional alternative. Thirty six percent dont even think theyre better for the environment, which is surely a death sentence in the mainstream marketplace, even if truly green consumers will put up with a lot as long as the planet benefits.
In 2010, 16 states adopted laws drastically limiting phosphorus in such detergents, with the result that nearly all the major brands have dropped the phosphorous content to a trace. That takes away one of two major issues with detergents, because phosphorous after it leaves the drain and enters the environment promotes algae growth and reduces the freshwater oxygen supply necessary for healthy river, lake and ocean ecosystems.
The remaining issues are the presence of chlorine bleach, perfumes and dyes. Just look at the warning labels on chlorine bleach to see it can be hazardous to the lungs, eyes and skin. Perfumes and dyes aren't all harmful, but they aren't tightly regulated either, so some suspect chemicals green consumers avoid can go under the guise of fragrances and coloring. Some, but not all green-branded dishwashing detergents are free of these ingredientscheck the label.
The main problem with green detergents is that they dont always get dishes as clean as market leaders, which are generally phosphate-free but may contain those other ingredients. Still, consumer testers are raving about a small group of environmentally friendly products, many of which dont cost much more than the big guys (but may be harder to find).