Saving Some Green When Buying Green
I love the thought of buying cleaning products that aren't harmful to the environment. So in honor of Earth Day on Wednesday, I went to four stores and one Web site to find out who had the best prices on some of the environmentally friendly cleaning products that have hit the shelves in the last few years. I focused on 7th Generation, a line of all-natural cleaners and recycled paper products, and Greenworks, an all-natural line of cleaners made by Clorox, and looked at how much these products cost at Target, Giant, CVS, Walmart and Amazon.com.
After braving the crowds on a recent Sunday afternoon, I concluded that Walmart had the better prices but Target had the most selection. Both stores sell Greenworks but Target also carries 7th Generation, Method and Mrs. Myers. Many of these products were on sale for Earth Day but I compared each of the stores' non-sale prices.
Walmart's prices on Greenworks were significantly lower than the competition's, sometimes 64 cents lower than Target and $1 cheaper than Giant. But it was a challenge to find any other brands at Walmart even though its Web site says it carries a cleaning line called "Earth Friendly Products." Greenworks was mixed in with its regular cleaning products, whereas Target and Giant had several shelves dedicated to their environmentally friendly cleaners, as well as recycled paper products.
Amazon.com, which sells its products in bulk, had the highest prices, with most items averaging $1 higher per container than the other stores. I suppose you could argue that you save money on gas by having it delivered to your home. The only deal on Amazon was on 7th Generation laundry detergent. The 50-ounce container was $6.03 per bottle in bulk, compared to Giant's price of $8.29 and Target's price of $7.99.
CVS had the second highest prices with some items being $1.50 higher than Walmart's prices.
Overall 7th Generation may be cheaper than Greenworks. Most of the sizes are different and the companies would probably argue that their ingredients and the method by which these products are made is different from each other. But a 32-ounce bottle of all-purpose cleaner made by 7th Generation was $2.99 at Target and Greenworks' all-purpose cleaner in the same size was $3.14. 7th Generation also has $1 and $2 off printable coupons on its Web site. You just have to become a registered user, which means providing them with an e-mail address.
So where do you shop for environmentally friendly cleaning products? Which products do you buy?
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