Posted by: Vicki Burns | April 27, 2011

Cost of Lake Friendly( EcoLogo Certified) Products – Is Lake Winnipeg Worth It?

image of colourful drawing with water, fish, bird and sun rising

Lake Friendly logo

image of EcoLogo
EcoLogo Certification

I came across this piece of news today that tweaked my interest and reminded me of the hidden costs associated with some of our actions to secure the cheapest price for everyday products. The news item is reporting that a city councillor in Winnipeg, Grant Nordman, is advocating that the city adopt a policy of purchasing EcoLogo Certified cleaning products for all its facilities. The EcoLogo products are Lake Friendly, which means they don’t contain phosphorus and other harmful chemicals that get into our wastewater and eventually into Lake Winnipeg. I applaud Mr. Nordman for his efforts to encourage the city to do the “right” thing.
On the other side of the argument though, Colin Craig of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation is expressing concern that purchasing EcoLogo Certified products may cost more and tax payers won’t be happy with that. The problem with that argument is that at some point, through our municipal, provincial and federal taxes we are all going to be paying for a variety of measures that are going to be required to “clean up” the lake.  Lake Winnipeg is unfortunately gaining an international reputation for being the most eutrophic large lake in the world. It is the 10th largest lake on the planet and is now garnering attention for the wrong reasons.
I think this is a great example of how our short term thinking can create far more costly conditions down the road. Adopting the “greener” practice now by buying the Lake Friendly products, is ultimately part of the solution for restoring the health of Lake Winnipeg. I think Lake Winnipeg is worth it. Do you?

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Responses

  1. With regard to cost, with environmentally preferable products approaching 30% of the commercial cleaning market, costs of certified, environmentally preferable products are largely comparable to “traditional” industrial cleaning products.

    Moreover, benefits of using low-impact products include reduced waste, reduced impact on the local environment such as water and landfill, and realized savings and efficiencies through energy savings, reduced impact on facilities infrastructure, improved indoor air quality, etc. which all save money for taxpayers.

  2. The problem is that you have no idea what is in Ecologo products! All you have is “FAITH” that is it better… You can’t base any decisions on “faith”. If you dig deeper, you can get the Ecologo standards which will tell what is “not” in the products, but won’t tell you what is “in” the products… AGain we are back to “faith” in “green” products…. I would NEVER TRUST a “green” product without knowing what it is made with! You?

    • The Ecologo can only certify what is not in the product, like harmful chemicals and phosphorus that contributes to blue-green algae. It cannot certify what is “in” the product because this certification goes on numerous different products that are made with many different ingredients. As consumers, we have to take the responsibility to check out what the product is made of. So I do trust that the products with the Ecologo certification don’t contain some ingredients that I believe are harmful to the environment.


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