Understanding EWG: Champions of Healthier Choices

Understanding EWG: Champions of Healthier Choices

In the world of wellness, amidst the murky waters of greenwashing, false claims, and total lack of regulation on harmful ingredients there is an organization that does have your health & the sustainability of our environment declared as mission-critical.  Environmental Working Group was established in 1993 to empower people through breakthrough research to make informed choices and live a healthy life in a healthy environment.  With a US government that has only banned 11 ingredients since 1938 (Europe has banned 1600) we simply cannot count on legislation to protect our health or that of the environment.

What does EWG do?

EWG is a non-profit funded by individual donations and grants from charitable organizations.  They employ teams of scientists who evaluate ingredients, and their impact on human health & the environment.  They publish lists like the harmful ingredient list & the restricted list which discuss ingredients that are harmful/unacceptable, or potentially safe within specific amounts or use restrictions (respectively).  They maintain & constantly add to large databases of products across personal care, household cleaning, and food to rate the safety to humans & the environment based on their ingredients, transparency, manufacturing practices, etc.

EWG verified

EWG came out with its verified mark in 2015.  The verified mark means the product has been comprehensively evaluated and meets the strict criteria set by EWG for product safety, transparency, and environmental impact.  2,280 personal care & household products have the verified mark, many of which we carry at Free Living Co

Why do we like EWG

At Free Living Co we don't want to recreate the wheel but rather be part of the ground swell effort already underway.  While there are a few resources that have human & environmental safety as their guiding light, like Made Safe, Yuka, Think Dirty, all of which we like, we find EWG to be the most established & strictest "gold standard" on the market today.  Like the little blue star, you see in social media accounts that tells you the person's profile you think you are looking at is them.  EWG offers that assurance when it comes to accuracy in ingredient lists & truthfulness of labels.  If it has been verified, you can ensure it is completely safe.  If it is in the database you can see where it falls on the safety, transparency, and environmental impact spectrum and make your choice based on that instead of fancy packaging or marketing claims.  Because it is a 3rd party non-profit the only motivation is our health.

1 thing

If clean living is overwhelming, exhausting, or frustrating to you, here is a suggestion to help you simplify your journey.  If there is 1 thing you can do to improve the toxic footprint in your home, it is to download the EWG Healthy Living app.  As you pump the last squirt of lotion, or spray the last spray of all-purpose cleaner scan the item before buying it again.  If it turns out to be orange or red, you may consider replacing it with something cleaner.  You can search the EWG skin-deep database for cleaner personal items or the guide to healthy cleaners for home goods and of course, you can always shop at Freelivingco.co where we do this work for you by scrutinizing the labels, referencing EWG, & only carrying items with a rating of Verified or green meaning everything is "safe for human use".

You can exercise daily, eat your veggies, drink water, stay on top of regular checkups, floss, dry brush, do all the right things, but if you live in a house full of toxins you are at risk for serious health implications most of which are completely avoidable!  Start with the 1 thing above, and let your curiosity take it from there, your health & our earth will be most grateful.

If you have questions or want to know more check out EWG.org or reach out anytime dana@freelivingco.co.

Live free,