Sometimes it's easy to spot exaggerated claims but then there are hundreds of credible-looking labels that, on closer examination, could just as easily have been issued by an unscrupulous manufacturer, as by a genuine environmental assessor.
In just one hour the sun beams down more energy than the world uses in a whole year. So how do we harness the rays to create renewable energy?
Melting icecaps, stranded polar bears and sinking pacific islands – blame it on the greenhouse effect causing global warming. How does it work and what does it have to do with greenhouses?
Ever since 2006 when it was labelled word of the year by the New Oxford American Dictionary, "carbon neutral" has been the word on everyone’s lips . But what does carbon neutral actually mean?
First, not all the familiar large clothing bins are associated with charities. Steve Gillespie, metropolitan retail manager for the St Vincent de Paul Society says that bins linked to a charity will be clearly labelled charity, as opposed to those marked commercial, in much smaller lettering.
There are two ways to estimate the number of fish in the sea: direct observations and indirect methods. Direct observation, as the name suggests, means scientists go out to sea and use special equipment to count the number of fish in each school.
The Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme (WELS) has, since July 2006, controlled how many stars we see on new washing machines, toilets, dishwashers, taps and showerheads.
Of course, our consumption habits have an impact on many animals. The label 'not tested on animals' is most commonly found on cosmetics and household products but there are moves in the UK to extend this to pharmaceuticals.
The rating system used for domestic appliances is similar to that used for water. Energy stars are issued by the federal and state government-run Energy Rating label scheme, which began in 1986. It wasn't in use nationwide until 2000.
Thomas Alva Edison revolutionised lighting with the development of the first commercially successful incandescent light bulb well over a century ago. Yet, this 1879 technology is still used all over the world, practically unchanged since he first dreamed it up.