Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Week Left of Summer School

My final project is an investigative report on how we as consumers can find out what is in the products we use in order to make more educated decisions on what to buy.

Issue: There are a lot of advertisements for “green” and “all natural” products in groceries these days. But how does a shopper know if the products that make these claims are actually good for them and the environment? In recent studies many products labeled “green” found on grocery shelves actually contain harmful substances like preservatives that cause skin irritants and some carcinogens.

Many green websites have a function where you can enter in the product’s name and find out whether it is environmentally safe and healthy to use.

I will tell the story through a dermatologist who is an expert in green and natural products, a professor at an environmental studies program at a University, someone who markets products as being green to understand what the standards they use, and a consumer who had a bad reaction to one of these “green” products. I also will interview one of the founders of a green website to help the reader understand just how many of these products labeled green really aren’t.

The article will also include a sidebar of a list of online resources the consumer can use.

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