Skip directly to: Navigation for this section | Main page content
Graphic: A Residential Education Page

Sustainable Shopping

Sustainable Shopping List

Graphic: Front and back of the 2009 wallet-sized Sustainable Shopping list

Student Housing produced and distributed a 'Sustainable Shopping' list to its Resident Advisors and Senior Resident Advisors to encourage and assist them with creating sustainably-responsible events in the residence halls. The shopping list is the size of a credit card so it may easily be carried in a wallet, and it is printed on FSC-certified, 100% recycled content paper.

A digital version that may be printed and cut to size is available for download.

Certifications & Councils

There are over 80 ecolabels used in North America.

Fair Trade Certified products guarantee that "strict economical, social and environmental criteria were met in the production and trade of an agricultural product." Items that can be Fair Trade Certified: tea, coffee, cocoa, chocolate, fruits, flowers, sugars, rice and vanilla.


Food Alliance Certified businesses have been audited by a third-party inspector to verify safe and fair working conditions, humane treatment of animals and good environmental stewardship. Food Alliance certifies farm and ranch operations, food packers, processors and distributors.


The Forest Stewardship Council logo guarantees that the product contains wood that comes from a certified well-managed forest. Independent certification bodies use FSC standards to assess both landowners and companies that sell FSC products (to verify chain of custody). The logo is available from a number of mills, manufacturers and distributors.


Green-e has two certification programs and one verification program. Green-e Climate sets standards for greenhouse gas reductions sold in the voluntary market. Green-e Energy is the nation's leading certification program for renewable energy. Green-e Marketplace allows companies to display the logo when they have purchased a specific amount of renewable energy and pass additional verification standards. The Green-e logo can be found in association with renewable energy for your home, carbon offsets, and numerous organizations including medical services, organic foods and professional sports.


The Green Seal logo indicates a product or service was evaluated "using a life-cycle analysis approach to ensure that all significant environmental impacts are considered in the development of a standard, from raw materials extraction through manufacturing to use and disposal." Items that can be Green Seal certified are: office products, hand soaps, paper towels, household cleaning products, construction materials, and cleaning services and lodging properties.


Rainforest Alliance Certified products guarantee that "goods and services were produced in compliance with strict guidelines protecting the environment, wildlife, workers and local communities." Items that can be Rainforest Alliance Certified: bananas, coffee, chocolate, flooring, paper, picture frames, and guitars.


The USDA Organic logo indicates the product was produced, processed and certified to national organic standards. Standards include avoidance of chemical inputs (e.g. pesticides), use of farmland that has been free of chemicals for several years, and maintaining separation of the organic products from the non-organic. Products made entirely with certified organic materials and methods can be labeled "100% organic" while products with at least 95% are labeled "organic." Items with a minimum of 70% organic can be labeled "made with organic ingredients." Items that can be USDA Organic: fruits, vegetables, meats, and egg products.